Jeep-Eagle was the name of the automobile sales division created by the Chrysler Corporation when it bought the assets of American Motors in 1987. Chrysler designed the division to sell the popular Jeep light-truck brand, and a new brand, Eagle, was created to sell a hodgepodge of cars developed between Chrysler and Mitsubishi and the Eagle Premier, a car developed by American Motors and Renault in the final years of their partnership.
Chrysler hoped to make Jeep-Eagle their "specialty division," selling products distinctly different from the K-car-based products. Eventually, though, many Eagle-branded automobiles were duplicated at Dodge and Chrysler-Plymouth dealerships. However, Chrysler did make a good-faith effort to give the Eagle brand an identity by offering an all wheel drive (AWD) Eagle Talon, a carryover from the all-wheel drive AMC Eagle for which the brand was named. The Jeep half of the division, however, remained the better-known and more popular brand. Many of the long-established AMC/Jeep dealers considered the new Eagle line of passenger cars to be less profitable than their Jeep business. American Motors had phased out domestic-built rear-wheel-drive passenger cars after 1983 and their captive front-wheel-drive imports did not achieve sales successes. Thus, AMC/Jeep dealer sales and service expertise was focused on the 4WD Jeeps and AMC's Eagle AWD models.
Jeep became a stand-alone division when the Eagle brand was retired shortly after Chrysler's merger with Daimler-Benz in 1998, and efforts have been made to merge the Chrysler and Jeep brands as one sales unit. Dealers with only the Chrysler franchise did not have an SUV to sell. Incorporating the Jeep line allows them to compete in this popular market segment. While adding Jeep vehicles to Chrysler cars helped individual dealerships, it also eliminated the need to continue the Eagle brand.
Nash Motors, American Motors, and Jeep-Eagle timeline of captive import cars, United States market, 1950s–1980s — next »
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|Crossover||Eagle wagon||Eagle Vista wagon||Eagle Summit Wagon|
Jeep, A subsidiary of Chrysler LLC, road vehicle timeline, 1945–present
|Traditional||CJ-2A||CJ-3A||CJ-3B||CJ-7/8||Wrangler YJ||Wrangler TJ||Wrangler JK|
|Compact SUV||VJ||C101||C104||Cherokee/Wagoneer XJ||Liberty KJ||Liberty KK|
|SUV||Willys Jeep Wagon||G.Cherokee ZJ||G.Cherokee WJ||G.Cherokee WK|
|Wagoneer/Cherokee SJ||G.Wagoneer||Commander XK|
|Pickup||Willys Jeep Truck||Comanche MJ|