Ever since Cerberus bought a controlling interest in Chrysler, many have openly speculated that the private equity fund would ultimately split up the company and sell it off. Those rumors have intensified in the last six months as the troubles of Chrysler and the rest of the industry have grown. Of the three brands in the stable, Jeep is generally considered to be the only one that has any significant value to potential buyers. Interestingly, the same thing was true in 1987 when Chrysler bought American Motors Corporation just to get the Jeep brand.
A report has just popped up on the website for JP Magazine that the International Trucks unit of Navistar has purchased Jeep. We've contacted Chrysler for a comment on the story and spokesman Ed Garsten told us he hasn't "...heard a thing on this." The story may turn out to be untrue – in fact, we suspect it may be an unfortunately-timed April Fool's joke that's been published online commensurate with that publication's newsstand schedule. Despite all that, International would perhaps be a fitting owner for Jeep. Back in the '60s and '70s, the International Scout was perhaps the closest competitor to the CJ and old Scouts are still popular among off-roaders. As for the fate of Jeep and the rest of Chrysler, we'll have to keep waiting.