This month, the chief of the Cherokee community in the United States has expressed his feelings about Jeep using the Cherokee name on its SUVs. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr has stated that it is time for companies to stop using their name and symbols on products. Jeep has been using the Cherokee name since the 1970s, and it’s one of the most popular vehicles in the UAE and worldwide.
When you google the word ‘Cherokee’, the Jeep model often appears near the top of the
results. The name is synonymous with this product but the Cherokee community feels it’s
about time this was changed to something unrelated to their tribe. While Jeep state the
name had been chosen with care, it was open to having discussions with the leaders in the
Jeep is currently owned by Stellantis and is now under much pressure to update this famous car’s branding. As Cherokee is a popular SUV model in the UAE and abroad, it will be challenging for consumers and car dealerships to accept this change.
Following the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, many large corporations and sports teams have stated they would reimagine some of their product lines. After about a decade break from its use, the Cherokee name was brought back into the US market by Jeep in 2013. The company plans to announce its all-electric Jeep Cherokee this year, which is an exciting development for Jeep drivers in the UAE and worldwide. However, much thought will be needed by the company before this huge announcement as to whether they will continue using the Cherokee name.
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr has stated that it’s time for brands in the United States to stop using Native American names and symbols in vain. He went on to say that it does not honor their heritage by having their name painted on cars and products. This interview initially appeared in Car and Driver magazine but has gained worldwide attention since. With regards to the relaunch of the Jeep Cherokee in 2013, the Cherokee Nation stated they hadn’t been consulted and didn’t approve of the stereotypical use of the name, but didn’t have an opinion on the matter at the time.
With a forty-five-year history of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles, it will be a
challenge for Jeep in the UAE and globally to rebrand these beloved models. However,
times have changed during the past decades, and the brand must continue to have
discussions about this topic.
Jeep has stated that the pride and craftsmanship of Native Americans are celebrated with these vehicles, but obviously, this opinion is not shared with the leader of the Cherokee Nation.
This will be an interesting development to follow before the launch of the all-electric Jeep Cherokee this year in the UAE, but one that we hope Jeep will navigate with tact and respect. As one of the top-selling Jeep models, we are sure the Jeep Cherokee will continue to be used and loved by drivers in the UAE regardless of any future rebranding that may happen.