The management of the newly-minted Stellantis concern, which includes Jeep, may eventually abandon the further use of the Cherokee trade name. This is due to a lawsuit filed by the Cherokee Indians.
Jeep has been using the Cherokee name since 1974 and it is found on several of its popular SUVs today. In 2013, in the final days of the Chrysler Group era before its merger with Italian Fiat, representatives of the Cherokee Nation, one of three American Indian tribes, expressed displeasure that they were not consulted before Jeep reintroduced the Cherokee to the United States as replaces the Liberty model.
Recently, Jeep has faced increasing pressure from the Indian tribe to abandon the continued use of the Cherokee name to refer to an SUV.
Chuck Hoskin Jr., chief executive of the Cherokee Nation, earlier this week revealed that Jeep “respectfully refused” to change the name for its iconic SUV. However, The Wall Street Journal, following a conversation with Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, reports that this radical scenario (a complete rejection of the Cherokee name) is not entirely ruled out.
While the top spokesman for the world’s fourth largest automobile manufacturer isn’t sure if there is a “real problem” with the use of the name Cherokee, he promises that the dispute will be settled if there is one: “If there is such a problem, of course we will solve it. ” For now, he sees “nothing negative,” adding that the Cherokee brand name represents Jeep’s way of “expressing our creative passion, our artistic ability.”
Further, Carlos Tavares said that Stellantis and Jeep “are ready to go to any lengths to solve the problem peacefully.” The automaker is fully aware that this topic needs to be treated with caution given the popularity of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.