Cherokee Nation chief calls on Jeep to stop using name of his tribe27th February 2021
Jeep has been using the Cherokee nameplate on and off for close to half-a-century, with the first vehicle to carry the name launched in 1974 as a high-riding, off-road station wagon.
Jeep briefly retired the name in 2001 for the North American market with the introduction of the Liberty, however reintroduced it in 2013.
Mr Hoskin was unavailable when approached for comment, however a spokesperson for Jeep in Australia said: “Our vehicle names have been carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honour and celebrate Native American people for their nobility, prowess and pride. We are, more than ever, committed to a respectful and open dialogue with the Cherokee Nation.”
At least 20 US-based brands have modified or changed the names of products in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement last year, and a new corporate emphasis has been placed on cultural sensitivity.
US gridiron team Washington Redskins, changed its name in 2020 to Washington Football Team after years of resisting, bowing to pressure from other NFL teams and sponsors.
And major league baseball team, the Cleveland Indians, confirmed late in 2020 it would begin the process of changing its name. While the team continues to play as the ‘Indians’ for the 2021 season, management has confirmed the transition has started, the team already retiring its Chief Wahoo logo, which featured a cartoon depiction of a Native American.
Jeep is not alone in appropriating the names of indigenous peoples on its vehicles. The name for Volkswagen’s large SUV, Touareg, is derived from the Tuareg, a nomadic people inhabiting the Sahara desert in Africa. Similarly, the Nissan Qashqai was named for the nomadic clans of the same name that inhabit southern and central Iran.
The first all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee in a decade was revealed in January 2021, with Australian deliveries expected later this year.