Jeep - "the original sports utility vehicle" - is arguably the jewel in the crown of what is now the global Fiat Chrysler Automobiles business, and now the only truly international brand from the old Chrysler Group. Registrations hit 1.58m vehicles worldwide in 2018, making Jeep the biggest seller within FCA and the global #16 auto brand by sales. A year-on-year increase of over 12% was more than any other brand in the Global Top 20. In the US too, still its biggest market, sales have boomed. Jeep ranked as the local #6 auto brand by volumes for 2018, with sales up almost 18% to 973k. That surge has taken a few years to materialise. The vehicle was first introduced by Chrysler subsidiary Willys-Overland during the Second World War as a "general purpose" or GP military vehicle (though there are also other possible derivations for the "jeep" name). Several manufacturers produced their own versions, but only Willys-Overland and its successor companies stuck with the concept after the war, adopting the nickname Jeep as the official brand name. In 1945, it became the auto industry's first mass-market 4x4. The brand underwent a major relaunch towards the end of 2004 under previous owners Daimler in an attempt to recapture the off-road segment, a market originally invented by Jeep but subsequently hijacked by other manufacturers' urban SUV models. That campaign broke late in the year under the slogan, "Jeep. The original dirty four letter word." However, only a few years later the brand came to epitomise the kind of fuel-hungry vehicle consumers abandoned in the crash which followed and sales fell accordingly. Units hit a low in 2009 before making a strong recovery over the following years, helped globally by the introduction of a sub-compact version in 2014, the Renegade, the first Jeep to be produced only outside North America, and then by the restyling of the Compass crossover model as a compact SUV in 2016. The Compass is now the brand's top-selling model, with sales jumping by 57% in 2018 to 409k units. It is followed by the Cherokee at 302k. Jeep's long-time CEO Michael Manley was elevated to global CEO of FCA in 2018 following the untimely death of Sergio Marchionne. He was eventually replaced at Jeep by Christian Meunier. See also:
Capsule checked 27th May 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 8th May 2019: Fiat Chrysler poached Christian Meunier, president of Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti since the beginning of this year, to become the new global president of Jeep. He takes over the role from Michael Manley, now global CEO of Fiat Chrysler.
Adbrands Social Media 8th Aug 2018: We recently featured a picturesque spot here from Land Rover filmed in the Himalayas. Now global rival Jeep sees Land Rover and raises the stakes about 1,000 times with this astonishing new film from US agency The Richards Group and director Mark Toia. Part ad, part travelogue, Toia clearly scoured India for every one of its most visually impressive aspects, and then condensed them into a single film. Obviously this is the director's cut, so he has allowed himself carte blanche on the edit, but who can blame him when he has footage like this to choose from. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th May 2017: Ads of the Week: "Recalculating". DDB Chicago's new campaign for Jeep feels fully grown-up as it navigates the twists and turns of life. It's a clever spin on a tried and tested concept: the one that aims to portrays your car as a lifestyle choice not a status symbol or merely a mode of transport. We have just one minor niggle. Perhaps a different voice for the final tagline?
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