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Jeep, at 75, sets new worldwide record

by Bill Cawthon on

Back in 1941, no one would have believed that a small vehicle intended to replace the horse and motorcycle for military scouts could become one of the hottest automotive brands in the world today.

Yet 75 years later, Jeep kicked off its 75th anniversary year with a worldwide record of more than 1.2 million (1,237,582) sales — up by 22% from last year, blowing right past the goal set earlier by Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley.

This marks the fourth consecutive record year for the Jeep brand.

Jeep racked up 966,643 sales in North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico), 78% of the total.  2014 was the first year for Jeep to hit a million sales worldwide, and North America almost hit that mark by itself in the 2015 calendar year.

In World War II, Jeeps were built in several countries from knock-down kits. Now there are factories in Italy, Brazil, and China, as well as in Toledo, Belvidere, and the Motor City itself.


In 1943, American Jeeps arrived in Italy with the Army. Today, Italian Jeeps are coming to America. As the late Danny Thomas, a long-time Jeep spokesperson, might have said, “Holy Toleldo!”

The newest Jeep had 60% of its 2015 sales outside of North America. More than 30% of Compass sales were in other nations, as well.

Jeep is the best-selling American brand in Japan and is the fastest-growing brand in Europe.

Jeep Around the World in 2015
Model U.S. Canada Mexico Other Total
Cherokee 220,260 31,833 4,605 38,383 295,081
Grand Cherokee 195,958 11,605 5,137 64,536 277,236
Wrangler 202,702 20,880 3,451 28,250 255,283
Renegade 60,946 2,261 0 95,144 158,351
Patriot 118,464 9,372 5,423 9,744 143,003
Compass 66,698 3,729 3,317 34,882 108,626
Liberty 0 0 2 0 2
Total 865,028 79,680 21,935 270,939 1,237,582

In the U.S. Jeep isn’t just the top brand of utilities, it’s also the No. 6 brand overall. With just six models, it has the second-highest average sales per model of any of the leading brands, beaten only by Ford — and the margin isn’t all that big.

In December, the Jeep Cherokee outsold every domestic crossover or SUV except the Ford Escape. It was #5 out of 102 different utility models on the market. The Grand Cherokee was #7. 13% of all the crossovers and SUVs sold in the U.S. last year were Jeeps.

With a new plant in Brazil, and expanding Jeep production in the U.S., Jeep seems to be on its way to reaching the two-million-sales goal laid out in the plan presented in 2014.


Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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