This iconic vehicle brand which is synonymous to the SUV category in the automobile market is all set to hit the Nepali roads.
--BY MUNA SUNUWAR
Jeep, a brand of the Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is an inspiration to an extensive range of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in the world of automobile. The brand has come a long way. Its invention brought about a revolution in the automobile sector because of its timeless design and off-road abilities. The update of the brand has been so frequent that it fits in the demand of most people’s need of a vehicle.
After the production of Jeep by Willys-Overland started, there has been no going back but only updates and upgrades in its design. Jeeps produced during World War II were used by the United States of America and its allies' military services. They were used for purposes like laying telephone cables, saw milling, long-range desert patrol, snow plowing and were also used as firefighting pumpers, field ambulances and tractors. The design and brand were the result of the demand of US military which wanted a vehicle that could be operated in the toughest terrains during a war. Jeeps were used for multipurpose military activities served in the military as supply carrier, ambulance and passenger vehicle.
Under the direction of Charles E. Sorensen who was the vice-president of Ford during World War II, Willys-Overland and Ford produced about 640,000 Jeeps which was 18 percent of all the wheeled military vehicles built in the U.S.during the war.
Initially designed for military purpose, the vehicle has found its way to the hearts of many resulting in the production of its civilian model namely Civilian Jeep (CJ). The aim was to help farmers in the farmland and substitute work horses which did not disappoint the users.
Being the first SUV brand in the word, it has maintained its legacy with only growing popularity amongst the off-roaders and on-roaders equally. The popularity got to the point where models that were similar to that of Jeep were popularly known as jeeps.
The first generation Compass was introduced in the global market in 2007. Jeep produced Compass as first Jeep product in India last year. It got well popularity in a short span of time in India as more than 20,000 units were delivered in less than a year. There are still tens of thousands of Jeep bookings pending in India. Vintage jeeps on the roads of Nepal are proof that Nepali auto enthusiasts are fascinated by the brand. Bearing the popularity in mind, Life Automobile, the authorised dealer of Fiat cars in Nepal is set to bring different models of Jeep in the country.
The look and models Jeep now has is the hard work of long-term, continuous dedication to the maintenance of standard it wanted to deliver to the consumers. The brand took a huge leap in the new model, manoeuvrable Forward-Control (FC) series of Jeep that the company unveiled in 1957. The four-wheel drive truck had a hoodless, flat-nose appearance and was available in heavy-duty dual-rear-wheel version.
Known as the most patriotic vehicle brand, it served military purposes for a long time till the introduction of a variation of DJ-3A intended for vacation resorts. The company claimed that the models were “perfect for economical deliveries” and pleasure transportation.
Widening the service oriented models, the two-wheel drive Fleetvan was designed for light-duty, multi-stop applications such as postal delivery and ice-cream trucks. The step-van featured sliding doors that were easy to enter from either side. The vehicle used front windshield glass that permitted “all points” vision for the driver.
Wagoneer, a model of Jeep also known as the first luxury 4x4 SUV, designed to provide passenger-car styling, comfort and convenience with the advantages of four-wheel drive (4WD) introduced in 1662 was a winner. It comprised the first automatic transmission, an independent front suspension in a 4x4 vehicle and the first automatic full-time 4x4 system.
Jeep not only introduced the first luxury SUVs in the market but acquired the modern style in its “Senior” (SJ) lines including the Gladiator and J-Series Trucks, Wagoneer Stations Wagons, Panel Deliveries and early Cherokee models.
The brand’s Grand Cherokee model became popular for being the first driver side airbag-equipped SUV. It was an upgrade in regard to comfort in the on-road ride segment. The brand bagged awards like Truck of the Year, Four Wheeler of the Year and 4x4 of the Year by Motor Trend Magazine, Four Wheeler Magazine and 4 Wheel & Off-Road Magazine respectively. The Cherokee became the first midsize SUV to offer as standard as nine-speed automatic transmission on all trims.
The game changer Wrangler (TJ) was introduced with the capability of both on-road and off-road handling in 1997. It also won the “4x4 of the Year” award. More than half of the vehicle’s parts were newly designed compared to the CJ-7 model.
The brand launched Commander, the first seven-passenger Trail Rated Jeep allowing an extra row of seats in the back. The Wrangler is certified with a Jeep Trail Rated badge and is said to have indulged in the performance categories including traction, ground clearance, manoeuvrability, articulation and water fording. Different ranges of Jeep cater to off-road and luxury SUV drivers.
Jeep has the widest range of SUVs which is also an inspiration to brands like Land Rover, a product of British multinational car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover. Evolving from a military vehicle to a civilian vehicle, Jeep now has a huge array of its fresh modern models. Wrangler has successfully stood in the crowd of SUVs from different brands and companies. Being first in many segments, Jeep has been an ally to the soldiers during the world war, business space to entrepreneurs, transportation to service providers, spirit of the off-road enthusiasts and adventurers and luxury to the SUV drivers.