Customer loyalty research consultancy Brand Keys releases an annual report of American brands that consumers deem to be the best representation of American patriotism. 2021 is the 19th year in a row that Jeep has earned the top spot as the most patriotic brand. Alongside Jeep in the ranks of the 50 most patriotic brands are the likes of Disney, Coca-Cola, American Express, and Coors. If you’re familiar with Jeep’s long history, it’s not hard to understand why the brand has consistently ranked number one for almost two decades, especially with a fresh lineup of vehicles such as the JL Wrangler, JT Gladiator, WL Grand Cherokee, and upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
The Early History Of Jeep
The Jeep brand’s identity is deeply rooted in two ideas: the preservation of American freedoms, and good ol’ fashioned American ingenuity and collaboration. The original Jeeps were built by Willys-Overland Motors, from an initial design that came from American Bantam, and they were helped in manufacturing by Ford Motor Company. The first Jeeps, of which there were three models, the Bantam BRC-40, the Ford GP, and the Willys MA, were created in response from an Army request for a rugged 4×4 to be used by American soldiers in the second World War. Even the name “Jeep”, while no one is for certain, is widely thought to have been derived from the slurring of the Ford GP (General Purpose) name.
The Jeeps built for World War II were designed to be able to function in any type of brutal terrain where soldiers needed to be, especially in the uncompromising environments of war-torn Europe. Post-war, Willys-Overland Motors began manufacturing Jeeps for the American public, with the name CJ, or Civilian Jeep. By 1950, Willy’s had secured the trademark for the Jeep name. The Jeep look became so iconic that seven-slot grilles, still found on all the modern Jeeps like the brand-new Wagoneer, are practically synonymous with the Jeep brand.
The history of the Jeep is something that most owners take extreme pride in. The feeling that your Jeep 4×4 could go practically anywhere no matter the terrain, just like the original Jeeps that were built to protect American democracy and sovereignty, is a huge selling point to this day. Jeep’s Americana heritage runs pretty deep through subtle design details (you can find American flags, and “Since 1941” in various models, for example). More to the point, Jeep sells a Freedom Edition version of six different vehicles from the Grand Cherokee to the Renegade, all with military-esque stars on the hood, and visible American flags. It’s no surprise that we continue to think of Jeep as the epitome of American patriotism on wheels.