The Jeep was invented in 1941 for the U.S. Military by The American Bantam car company. The final production was awarded to Willys as the military felt Bantam was too small a company to produce the necessary numbers needed. Ford also built the Jeep for the military using the Willys plans. Bantam, which was the inventor, produced only trailers for the Army and never made the Jeep. Willys called their Jeep the Model MB and Ford called theirs the Model GPW. Jeep was never a name the military used. It was only a nickname in the beginning.