Never too young for brand names

Jeep joins the growing list of companies that are placing their labels on kids' products. Such licensing agreements are a lucrative way to cash in on what the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association says is a $4.86 billion industry.

Jeep hopes its line of strollers and other infant and toddler merchandise will appeal to fathers who associate the brand with ruggedness and individuality. In the same way that sport utility vehicles appeal to suburbanites, Jeep and companies such as Eddie Bauer are attracting buyers with strollers that have all the features of an SUV: oversized all-terrain wheels, steel frames, extra padding, and - of course - cup holders for toddlers and parents.

Jeep is the first automobile brand to enter a licensing deal for strollers, although analysts predict more carmakers will follow suit.

Jeep strollers include three models named after, what else, the company's vehicle line: Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, and Wrangler.

Parents who don't plan to drive a Jeep can still push one when the strollers become available in February: Prices range from $49.99 to $109.99.

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