AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The JeepÃ‚Â® brand expanded to seven models in the 2007 model year, the most available to retail consumers at one time in the 66-year history of Jeep vehicles.
“Jeep is the Swiss Army knife of the SUV market,” said John Plecha, Director – Jeep Marketing and Global Communications. “No other automotive manufacturer in the world has the range of sport-utility vehicles that Jeep has. This impressive portfolio of SUVs provides Jeep dealers with an unprecedented opportunity to grow the brand by offering a variety of products that will excite our current customers and attract new ones.”
The expansion of the Jeep brand took place in just two years. At the start of 2004, the brand’s trio of tough, capable, rugged SUVs included the venerable Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty – the retail sales leader among mid-size SUVs – and the icon of the brand, the Jeep Wrangler (2-door).
In 2005, the Jeep Commander – the first Jeep vehicle with seven-passenger seating – was introduced as a 2006 model. In 2006, the redesigned Wrangler 2- door was unveiled as a 2007 model. Also debuting were three all-new Jeep vehicles: the Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass – both of which provide Jeep 4×4 capability along with excellent fuel economy, safety and interior flexibility at a great value, and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the first-ever four-door Wrangler. Also for 2007, Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first to offer a diesel engine in the full-size SUV segment and a flex-fuel capable 4.7-liter V-8 engine, which gives customers the ability to use up to an 85 percent concentration of ethanol (E-85) to fuel their vehicles.
OVERALL, FOR THE 2006 CALENDAR YEAR, THE JEEP BRAND SOLD 460,052 VEHICLES IN THE UNITED STATES.
Jeep, which is one of the most recognized brands in the world, celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2006. In 1941, the Willys-Overland company delivered to the U.S. Army 1,500 light reconnaissance vehicles called the Willys Quad. Improved vehicles were called the MA and MB, but eventually, those vehicles came to be known as the Jeep. More than 368,000 were built for use during World War II.
Over the years, freedom, authenticity, mastery and the capability to go anywhere have become the hallmarks of the Jeep brand and the basis for its SUV leadership worldwide.