Although, best known for their and pioneering legendary Jeeps, the Willys company was also a longtime producer of automobiles both in the United States and in Brazil. From a period of 1912 to 1918, Willys was actually the second largest producer of American-made automobiles in the United States behind Ford, but slowly lost their market share to other upstart brands. During WWII, Willys and Ford both produced Jeeps because the output required exceeded what Willys alone could produce. After 1954, the American branch of Willys decided to exit the automobile market, but the Brazilian wing of Willys started production in 1953, producing a version of the Aero Willy until 1971. The last models even had a distinctively Studebaker-like roofline due to the design work of former Packard-Studebaker designer, Brooks Stevens influence.
The Brazilian wing of Willys even produced Renault Dauphine models for a while during the 60’s, but by 1969 Ford came in and some models were badged as Fords from that point on. After 1971, any previous Willys automobiles models were gone, but some Willys Jeep based vehicles bore a Ford label until 1983.
In the United States, the Willys Jeep models were first sold to Kaiser, later to AMC, and in 1987, AMC sold it’s assets to Chrysler, making Jeeps one of the only vehicles of all time that outlasted several producers. Almost all car brands live and die with the producer.