American Expedition Vehicles

Company History Photo

American Expedition Vehicles - Shaping JEEP HISTORY SINCE 1997

2015

  • AEV Launches Prospector
  • AEV Launches new wheels for JK Wrangler and Ram Truck - the Salta and Salta HD
  • AEV Plans additional office / warehouse expansion

2014

  • AEV JK Wrangler Differential Cover and Rear Vision System released.
  • AEV Filson Edition Brute Double Cab and JK Wrangler released.
  • AEV Ram Tray-bed Concept debuts at SEMA.
  • AEV Brute Double Cab featured on Top Gear USA - Desert Trailblazers
  • AEV Brute Double Cab featured in 8 Episodes of the Sportsman Channel Border to Border

2013

  • AEV begins production and delivery of the AEV Brute Double Cab.
  • AEV releases many new products, including the AEV 3.8L Supercharger Kit, AEV Saws and Hatchet, Floor Liners, and Roof Rack.
  • AEV Debuts the Ram Concept at SEMA
  • AEV Wixom moves to larger facility in Commerce Township, MI

2012

2011

  • Chrysler unveils the Call of Duty, MW3 edition Wrangler, which includes modified versions of AEV’s Front Bumper, Rear Bumper and Hood.
  • AEV unveils the AEV Brute Double Cab at SEMA 2011. In the all new Brute is the 6.4L HEMI backed up with the A580 transmission.
  • AEV continues to launch new products, including a 2.0” JK Spacer Kit, Splash Guards, AEV-tuned Remote Reservoir shocks, Hi-Lift/Pull-Pal Mount and JK Tubeless Bumper.
  • AEV’s Missoula operation expands into a newer 7,000 SF facility.

2010

  • AEV’s Detroit operation expands into a 36,000 SF facility to support its larger product lineup and the growing number of vehicle builds.
  • AEV launches a program to bring its turn-key manufactured vehicles to Jeep dealers, and hires brand manager Jeff Clark (formerly of Saleen) to lead the development of the program on a national level.
  • AEV is featured on an episode the Speed Channel’s Dangerous Drives, chronicling a winter testing trip through the trails surrounding Moab, UT.

2009

  • AEV releases another slew of new products for the JK, including a Rear Bumper/Tire Carrier, ProCal module and the 17” Savegre wheel.
  • The ProCal module is named runner up for the “Best New Product” award at SEMA.

2008

  • AEV launches its JK Suspension, setting a new standard in aftermarket suspension engineering with a highly capable off-road suspension that doesn't compromise on-road safety and handling.
  • AEV releases its JK Hemi Conversion Kit, a plug-and-play kit making a factory quality HEMI swap accessible to everyone from DIY’ers to the most experienced shops.
  • AEV adds the 5.7L and 6.1L HEMI options to its JK Expedition Package.
  • Chris Wood leaves his position as Sales Manager at ARB and joins AEV as Sales Manager.
  • Bill Omell joins AEV as Warehouse Manager.

2007

  • AEV opens a new 20,000 SF facility in Detroit. This facility handles warehouse/distribution as well as most front office functions, and becomes the company’s primary vehicle manufacturing facility. This allows the Missoula facility to focus more heavily on engineering and R&D.
  • AEV launches its all-new JK product line, including Front Bumper, Winch Mount, Skid Plate, Heat Reduction Hood, Corner Guards, Snorkel and a new line of wheels, the 17” Pintlers. AEV now offers the only line of stamped steel accessories for the Wrangler.
  • Dave Yegge leaves his position in Jeep Engineering to join AEV as Operations Manager.
  • In late 2007, AEV fills a hole in its product lineup and expands into the suspension business, and acquiring Reno, NV-based Nth Degree Mobility. The operations are folded into AEV's Detroit facility, with Jim Frens, owner of Nth Degree and former Chrysler dynamics engineer, moving to Missoula to become AEV's resident suspension engineer.
  • AEV now has 3 former Chrysler/Jeep engineers on staff with combined experience in excess of 40 years.
  • AEV releases its “Expedition Package” for the JK Wrangler, a turn-key vehicle package made up of a system of complementary accessories.

2006

  • With the upcoming launch of the new JK Wrangler, the timing is right for Dave to expand AEV. Dave partners with Michael Chetcuti and Mike Collins, both of Detroit, and together they begin a significant expansion of AEV. Chetcuti and Collins bring financial, human and manufacturing resources along with years of management expertise.
  • Chetcuti owns  a Detroit-based Tier 1 automotive stamping and assembly company, which gives AEV vertically integrated advance manufacturing capabilities to marry with Dave’s innovative designs.
  • CAD designers from Chetcuti's company are moved out to Missoula, and product design/development work begins in earnest. The team is working to bring the Brute to market in kit form, as well as developing the Highline Body Kit for the TJ and a comprehensive product lineup for the all new 2007 JK Wrangler, which is scheduled for launch in less than 6 months.
  • John Natoci, an engineer with 15 years experience at Chrysler and Mopar, joins AEV as Chief Operating Officer.
  • Mike Messink leaves Comerica Bank and joins AEV as Chief Financial Officer.
  • AEV has its own booth at SEMA for the first time and wins its fourth Design Excellence Award for yet another innovative product, the TJ Highline Body Kit.

2005

  • AEV’s HEMI business continues to grow and the company moves into a larger 6,000 SF facility and adds its third, fourth and fifth employees.

2004

  • TJ HEMI swaps begin shipping to customers.
  • AEV adds a Heat Reduction Hood to its product lineup.

2003

  • Coming on the heels of the Brute’s success at SEMA, Jeep considers bringing the Brute concept into production and ships the prototype to Detroit for a feasibility study. Jeep ultimately decides that there isn’t enough time to recoup the setup costs before the TJ goes out of production in 2006, but the Brute lives on as an aspirational icon for those who still want to see Jeep produce a pickup.
  • AEV introduces its first wheel, the 16” Bridger.
  • With its vehicle manufacturing business growing, AEV expands into engine swaps and integrates Chrysler’s new 5.7L V8 HEMI engine into the Wrangler. AEV immediately sets the bar for the most factory-looking, reliable V8 engine swap in the industry.
  • After months of work, the 570 Wrangler makes its debut at SEMA.

2002

  • Dave returns to an old idea he had for a Wrangler-based pickup truck, and concepts and designs the Brute.
  • A prototype Brute is built for SEMA and Jeep awards AEV its third Design Excellence Award. A Chrysler executive calls the Brute their most successful show car since the Viper.

2001

  • AEV diversifies and begins developing a line of aftermarket accessories. Dave starts with TJ rocker guards and develops a body mounted rocker guard with an integrated nerf tube, a design that is now industry standard.
  • Chris Wood, has AEV stretch his personal TJ to a 104” wheelbase.

2000

  • Dave Yegge has AEV stretch his personal TJ, which spurs Jeep to develop the Unlimited LWB Wrangler. The Unlimited goes into production in 2004.

1999

  • AEV moves to a new 2,500 SF facility in Missoula.
  • Chrysler asks AEV to build an image vehicle for the Cherokee (XJ). Dave comes up with the Africana concept, and it is shown at the 1999 SEMA show.
  • AEV wins its second Design Excellence Award.
  • Dave meets two individuals who will play a big part in AEV’s future: Dave Yegge, a Wrangler Vehicle Development Engineer at Jeep, and Michael Chetcuti, CEO of Quality Metalcraft, a Detroit based tier-one automotive supplier.

1998

  • Chris Wood, a sales manager at ARB, offers AEV a feature vehicle space in ARB’s booth at the annual SEMA show. Dave brings his first production 112 Wrangler (a stretched long wheelbase TJ).
  • Jeep engineers are impressed with AEV’s 112 and award AEV its first Design Excellence Award.

1997

  • As part of his senior year capstone class, Dave writes a business plan for a company that would build long-wheelbase Wranglers. His plan wins the university-wide business plan competition.
  • With the winning business plan, Dave secures a loan from a local bank and forms American Expedition Vehicles (AEV).
  • Dave lives and works from a small one bay shop and starts to work on his first prototype stretched TJ. This prototype is well received and AEV starts taking its first orders.

1993

  • Dave moves to Missoula, Montana to enter a business program at the University of Montana. While in school, Dave makes the first modifications to his Jeep, including a 22” stretch.

1991

  • AEV’s founder, Dave Harriton, buys his first Jeep: a 1991 Canyon Blue 4.0L YJ.