The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the brand’s best-selling model, while the Jeep Cherokee is its third bestseller. Jeep recently unveiled a redesigned version of the Grand Cherokee, and the company has been selling SUVs under the Cherokee brand for about 45 years.
“I think we are in a day and an era in this country when it is time for business and team sports to remove the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, team jerseys and sports. in general. I’m sure this came from a well-meaning place, but it doesn’t do us any honor to have our name inscribed on the side of a car, ”said Chuck Hoskin, Jr., senior chief of the Cherokee Nation in a written declaration.
“The names of our vehicles have been carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native Americans for their nobility, prowess and pride,” Jeep said in a statement. “We are more than ever engaged in a respectful and open dialogue with the Chief Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin, Jr.”
For his part, Hoskin said he could not see any sort of arrangement under which it would be acceptable for Jeep to continue using the tribe’s name on its vehicles.
“It’s one of the most precious things. It’s part of who we are,” he said in an interview with CNN Business. “And if we wanted to match who had the strongest claim, connection, and affinity for the Cherokee name, it would definitely be the Cherokee people.”
The Cherokee were known by this name even before Europeans contacted them.
Car and Driver had asked Hoskin about the name after several other companies and sports teams announced changes in brand names and logos that used ethnic stereotypes and cartoons considered offensive.
The Jeep Cherokee was first introduced in 1974. The Grand Cherokee, with a more modern, car-like appearance, was introduced in 1993. The original Cherokee model line was discontinued in 2001, but the name has was reintroduced in 2013 on a new compact SUV.