In 1940, after
World War II had broken out, the US general staff ordered various
factories to design a light multi-purpose vehicle with all-wheel drive.
The American Bantam Company, Willys Overland, and Ford Motor Co.
competed with each other. Willys prototype was chosen, which, after an
initial run of 1500 vehicles, went into mass production at the beginning
of 1941 and reached a total output of 640.000 units out of which 277.000
pieces were produced by Ford under a licensing agreement. This shows
that the Jeep was the most widely produced light vehicle of the war
industry during World War II