Personalized Jeep vanity license plate idea inspired by Jeep history: OVRLAND
It’s interesting that one of America’s greatest brands, and currently fastest growing automotive as well is Jeep, has one of the most complicated histories in automotive history. Yet through various financial hiccups the Jeep brand has managed to save each company that purchased it.
History of Jeep
1903 Overland Automobile was founded and is the predecessor to Willys.
1908 Willys-Overland Motors purchased Overland; the company was not renamed as Willys-Overland Motors until 1912.
Notably from 1912 to 1918 Willys-Overland was the number two automotive company behind Ford Motor Company.
1950 After a bankruptcy restructuring and a couple of World Wars, Willys-Overland was finally granted the U.S. Trademark to Jeep.
In 1953 Kaiser Motors purchased Willys-Overland and renamed the company Willy Motor Incorporated.
1963 the company was renamed Kaiser-Jeep Corporation.
1970 the American Motor Corporation (AMC) purchased Kaiser-Jeep, and renamed it Jeep Corporation.
1983 French automotive company Renault first enters the picture, AMC created the vehicle named Alliance by reengineering a Renault to create a fuel efficient vehicle.
1985 AMC which at the time owns AM General the creator of the infamous HUMMER sells the division to appease the Pentagon which does not want defense contracts with partially owned French companies.
1986 Some Jeep’s offered an optional Renault 2.1 L (128 cu in) Turbo-Diesel I4 diesel.
1987 Chrysler starts buying AMC stock; and eventually purchases the entire company. It is later renamed as Jeep-Eagle
1998 After Chrysler is purchased as a “merger of equals” the Eagle brand is retired, and Jeep, is simply Jeep again.
2007 The Daimler-Benz merger is over, Daimler sells 80% of Chrysler (inclusive of Jeep, Dodge, and later split out RAM brands) to Cerberus Capital for $7.4 billion. Bringing to conclusion by most accounts the least successful merger in automotive history.
2009 Cerberus gives up Chrysler to bankruptcy, but keeps the Chrysler financial division (the only profitable part at the time).
2009 June Fiat was granted 20% ownership in New Chrysler. It is also allowed to purchase up to 31% more. Fiat which itself is struggling in Europe purchases the highly profitable Chrysler, in effect saving Fiat.
2011 June FCA pays back its US Government loans.
2014 Fiat agreed to pay $3.65 billion for the 41.46% of Chrysler that it didn’t already own. It cleverly used Chrysler’s own cash to pay for most of this portion of the deal. Fiat only paid a total of about $4 billion to purchase all of Chrysler a far cry from the $36 billion that Daimler paid. It also created the 7th largest automotive company by vehicles sold in the world.
2014 final tally that the US Treasury spent to bail out Chrysler was $11.96 billion.
2014 Larger than life CEO Sergio Marchionne of newly created FCA focuses major efforts on expansion of Jeep line-up and drops passenger cars from the portfolio.
2018 Jeep sells nearly one million vehicles in North America, not far behind Ford Motor Company.
2019 Rumors are swirling that Renault and Nissan may officially merge, and then purchase Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. On May 27, 2019 rumors of a Renault merger with FCA come to a head publicly. If merger is approved it would create the number 3 largest automotive company in the world. If the merger finds a way to bring the Nissan-Mitsubishi “alliance” into the mix it would then create the worlds largest automotive company by vehicle sold in the world. It would be larger than Volkswagen and Toyota.
Downtown Detroit has this “Service Overland Willys Knight Station” mural on a building off of Cass Avenue. Which would have been a Overland-Willys dealer.
Fittingly a Jeep Liberty is parked out front.
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