Jeep was a truck brand that was born in World War II and that has always sort of been cooler than a lot of other brands. But recent struggles have made the automaker change hands multiple times only to be mismanaged and to struggle each time. It is good to see the brand getting some new life with Chrysler under Fiat ownership. It is funny to think about how a German company that manufactured many of the vehicles that Jeep battled against during WWII (Daimler) took over the company and symbolically seemed to try to kill it. During this time some awful models came out and the good old standards were largely ignored.
The Ultimate American SUV
But now under the Fiat helm, the brand gets another chance. Fiat is taking real effort and putting it into restoring Jeep's image as a great global brand in a world where it will be competing against the heigh of technology as cars like the new Prius models launch in the market. Fiat is actually partnering up with leaders at Chrysler to try to accomplish this task. The Jeep as soon as it was introduced became not only a leader but an icon in the sport utility market. It was the ultimate American SUV before anyone in America had ever heard of that term. And now it appears as though things might be starting to come around again for the automaker.
The new Grand Cherokee came out earlier this year, called by most critics the best version ever of that staple vehicle. The Grand Cherokee has always been the vehicle you drive when you are much too cool for a Caravan. And now it is back at that kind of level again. That truck actually came out of work that was done with Daimler during the so called lost decade. It may be the only decent Jeep to come out of that decade. To go with that new vehicle, new versions of the Compass and Patriot, possibly the two worst received Jeeps ever when they were first released, are out, as well as new updates of the Wrangler and the Liberty. All of these upgrades have been done mostly under the watchful eye of Fiat, all signs that Jeep is not going to be some sort of afterthought to the Italian automaker.
Future Outlook for Jeep
The once troubled brand seems to be rebounding nicely thanks in large part to Fiat involvement. New models are set to come out in the next few years, and Chrysler is actually thinking it may be able to repay its obligation to the federal government early in 2011 so full consolidation with Fiat can be completed . If this is the case, it is a much better scenario than what many had envisioned especially for the Jeep nameplate before Fiat took the company over. As time goes by and the national economy comes out of the deep freeze of recession, public interest will be awakened to new makes and models. With redesigned and completely new models in the offing in the next few years, Jeep is positioned quite well to survive and actually do more than that.
Car owners and group auto insurance customers can consider this a strong brand to consider because of the strong ownership in Italy that is backing it and pouring money into it for research and development. There is no reason to stay away from buying a new Jeep these days, no reason to wonder if the dealership will still be around in a few months if there is a warranty issue to take care of. Jeep's recovery is symbolic of better times to come at Chrysler - placing Jeep under Fiat control has probably done much to ensure the future of the brand.