The origins of the Jeep start in WWII, when the first military Jeep vehicles were built by Willys-Overland to serve American forces. After the war, Jeep launched a civilian version in 1945 that proved immensely popular. For decades, Jeep SUVs were manufactured in the US and considered a symbol of American automotive ingenuity.
But over the years, as Jeep ownership changed hands from Willys to Kaiser to American Motors Corporation (AMC) to Chrysler, some production began shifting overseas or sourcing more international parts. This raises the question – are Jeeps still made in America today?
Below we’ll outline where the major Jeep models are manufactured and try to determine how much US content goes into modern Jeeps. While Jeep is now owned by the international Stellantis group, many models support American manufacturing jobs. However, other models now contain more foreign-sourced parts than in the past.
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A Brief History of Jeep Manufacturing in the US
To understand Jeep’s current manufacturing footprint, it helps to understand the brand’s deep roots in American auto production:
- Willys-Overland was the first company to produce the military Jeep vehicle in 1941, supplying over 350,000 Jeeps to Allied forces during WWII.
- After the war, Willys launched the first civilian Jeep (“CJ”) in 1945, producing them in Toledo, Ohio.
- Kaiser Motors took over Jeep production in 1953, moving manufacturing to Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- In 1970, American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased Kaiser’s Jeep operations.
- AMC moved Jeep HQ back to Toledo, Ohio and began producing the Cherokee and Wagoneer models.
- Chrysler acquired AMC and the Jeep brand in 1987, forming Chrysler Jeep.
- In 1998 the Toledo North Assembly Plant opened to build the Jeep Liberty.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was formed in 2014, bringing the Jeep brand under international ownership.
- Despite foreign ownership, FCA has continued investing in US Jeep plants. The Toledo plant was updated to build the new Wrangler and Gladiator.
So while Jeep has passed through many owners, ranging from small American automakers to now being part of a global auto group, a significant amount of production has remained in the US. Next we’ll look at where current Jeep models are manufactured:
Where Are Jeeps Made Today?
Let’s examine where major Jeep models are assembled today and what percentage of parts content comes from the US versus international suppliers:
- Built in Toledo, Ohio – All Wrangler models are produced at FCA’s Toledo North Assembly Plant.
- 75% US/Canadian parts – The Wrangler has one of the highest levels of domestic content. Transmissions come from Indiana and axles from Ohio.
So the iconic Jeep Wrangler retains a strong “Made in America” pedigree today.
- Built in Toledo, Ohio – The new Jeep truck launched in 2020 is built alongside the Wrangler at FCA’s Toledo plant.
- 75% US/Canadian parts – The Gladiator pickup shares many components with the Wrangler, giving it high domestic content.
The Gladiator is the latest Jeep model to roll off the American assembly line in Toledo.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Built in Detroit, Michigan – The 5th generation Grand Cherokee is produced at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Previous generations were also built in Detroit.
- 75% US/Canadian parts – The Grand Cherokee sources the majority of components domestically. The transmission comes from Indiana and windows from Ohio.
So while foreign-owned, the Grand Cherokee supports American manufacturing with most parts coming from the US and Canada.
- Built in Belvidere, Illinois – The Cherokee midsize SUV moved from Toledo to Illinois in 2017 when the Toledo plant began Wrangler production.
- 62% US/Canadian parts – Compared to the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee sources more foreign-made content including the transmission from Japan.
The Cherokee was an earlier adopter of international parts, lowering the US content percentage compared to other Jeeps.
- Built in Mexico – The compact Compass SUV is produced at FCA’s Assembly Plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Some early Compass production was in Brazil.
- 48% US/Canadian parts – With Mexican assembly and significant imported content, less than half of Compass parts are sourced domestically.
Made outside the US, the Jeep Compass has the lowest American parts content.
- Built in Italy – Unlike most Jeep models, the subcompact Renegade is manufactured in Italy at FCA’s Melfi plant.
- 43% US/Canadian parts – As a European-built model, the Renegade unsurprisingly relies more on foreign parts content.
The made-in-Italy Renegade does not support much US manufacturing.
Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer
- Built in Warren, Michigan – The revived Wagoneer models are produced at FCA’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant. Early production began in 2021.
- US parts content TBD – FCA has not released domestic content percentages for the new Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer yet. Expect significant US/Canadian parts similar to other US-built Jeeps.
The Wagoneer family represents Jeep investing in American manufacturing for future models.
So in summary, newer models like the Wrangler, Gladiator and Grand Cherokee have high domestic parts content from US and Canadian suppliers. But other models use more parts from Mexico, Europe, Asia and other regions – reflecting how globalized auto manufacturing has become.
Are Jeeps Still Considered American Made?
Based on the manufacturing breakdown above, some Jeep models can still be considered American made, while others rely more on international parts:
- The Wrangler and Gladiator built in Toledo have 75% US/Canadian content, making them the most American-made Jeeps.
- The Grand Cherokee also has around 75% domestic content from its US assembly plant.
- The Cherokee is just above 60% US/Canadian parts, starting to mix in more foreign components.
- The Mexico-built Compass drops to 48% domestic content.
- The Italian-made Renegade sources just 43% of parts from the US/Canada.
So clearly there is variation – from the thoroughly American-made Wrangler to the more internationally sourced Compass and Renegade. But the Jeep brand’s identity is still strongly associated with American manufacturing.
Supporting American Manufacturing When Buying a Jeep
For buyers who want to support domestic manufacturing jobs, the Wrangler, Gladiator and Grand Cherokee are the best options with 75% US/Canadian parts content. The Cherokee with 62% content also supports American jobs, though to a lesser degree.
However, Jeep models made outside the US or with higher imported parts content will provide less of a boost to American auto workers and suppliers. The Renegade at 43% domestic content has limited impact while a Compass built in Mexico supports jobs there instead.
So consumers can vote with their dollars and choose certain Jeep models if made-in-America content is a priority for them. The brand’s icons like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee still wave the flag for US manufacturing.
The Future of Jeep Production in America
The Jeep brand now belongs to Stellantis, a global auto group formed by the merger of FCA and French automaker PSA. What does this mean for future Jeep production in the US?
- Stellantis has committed to investing $35 billion in North American manufacturing through 2025, which includes Jeep plants.
- The new Wagoneer models began production in Michigan in 2021.
- Toledo plant got a $700 million update to produce the new Wrangler.
- As a global company, Stellantis could shift some Jeep production outside North America.
- New models could source more international parts to lower costs.
So while Stellantis has continued investing in American Jeep plants so far, economic factors could lead them to offshore more manufacturing in the future. Consumer demand for “made in America” Jeeps may help incentivize keeping production domestic.
In summary, the origin of Jeep and much of its manufacturing is firmly rooted in America. Iconic models like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee retain high US parts content. However, other Jeeps now use more international components from lower cost countries.
As Jeep ownership has passed from American automakers to foreign groups like FCA and now Stellantis, production has become more globalized. But many Jeeps are still assembled at American factories and support US jobs. For buyers who prioritize American manufacturing, the Wrangler, Gladiator and Grand Cherokee deliver the most US content.
So while the Jeep brand has an international parent company, many models are still “born in the USA.” For Jeep shoppers who value buying American, the good news is you can still find a US-made Jeep today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Jeep Manufacturing
Where are Jeep Wranglers made?
All Jeep Wranglers are produced at the Toledo North Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio. The plant recently received a $700 million update to build the new JL generation Wrangler launched in 2018.
What percentage of Wranglers are made in the USA?
Around 75% of the parts content in the Jeep Wrangler comes from domestic US and Canadian suppliers. This gives the Wrangler one of the highest levels of American-made content among current Jeeps.
Are Jeep Grand Cherokees American made?
Yes, all Jeep Grand Cherokee models are assembled at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. Approximately 75% of Grand Cherokee parts content is sourced from American and Canadian suppliers.
Is the Jeep Cherokee made in America?
The current KL generation Jeep Cherokee is made at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. It moved there from Toledo, Ohio in 2017. The Cherokee has 62% US/Canadian parts content, less than the Wrangler or Grand Cherokee.
Are Jeep Renegades American made?
No, unlike other Jeep SUVs the subcompact Renegade is manufactured in Italy at FCA’s Melfi plant. It has just 43% US/Canadian parts content, making it one of the least American-made Jeeps.
Are new Jeep Wagoneers American made?
The recently revived Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models are built at FCA’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan. Parts content details have not been released yet for the new models.
Is the Jeep Compass made in America?
The compact Jeep Compass is produced at FCA’s assembly plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Only 48% of its parts come from the US and Canada, with the rest imported. So the Compass is not an American-made Jeep.