The XJ Cherokee was born out of the French government's bailout of American Motors and made its debut as a 1984 model. It was so successful that it stayed in production in essentially its original form through three corporations and into the following century. Today's Junkyard Find is one of the very last XJ Cherokees ever made, found in a Wyoming car graveyard last week.
We've reported about Stellantis idling the plant where the Jeep Cherokee is built, and today Matt wrote about how the options list for the vehicle is narrowing. It appears that the current generation will be finished after the 2023 model year. So, what's next?
Stellantis hasn't officially confirmed that the current-generation Jeep Cherokee will soon be discontinued, but it sure looks that way, and 2023 is looking like its final model year. But the successor cannot be far away, considering just how few options are left within the Cherokee lineup. For 2023, trims have been limited to Altitude Lux and Trailhawk – with engine options being limited to the 180-hp 2.4-liter inline-four and 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four.
Blaming the global shortage of semiconductors and related supply chain challenges, Stellantis has announced another round of cuts at one of its factories. According to a report in the Detroit News, about 400 workers have been informed of an ‘employee reduction’ that will take effect early next calendar year.
Before I became an automotive journalist, I wanted to write about sports. And one of the first things I learned from more-experienced sportswriters while I was in journalism school is that writing about a .500 team sucks unless there are colorful personalities on the roster.
This is because it’s generally more interesting to write about really good or really bad teams. I am sure there are exceptions, but generally speaking, mediocre teams were more challenging to cover.
In a decade-plus of writing about cars, I’ve discovered this applies to vehicles, as well.
Jeep is laying off 150 workers that would have otherwise been employed at its Belvidere Assembly Plant, which actually produces the Jeep Cherokee instead of the long defunct, full-size Plymouth. Based on the timing, this decision appears to have something to do with the FCA-PSA Group merger that formed Stellantis.
The Cherokee Nation has requested that Jeep change the name of some of its vehicles. While you can probably guess which ones are causing offense, it should be stated that the automaker has been utilizing the Cherokee name to evoke a sense of power and natural harmony for over 45 years. But nobody is going to argue that native peoples have a decided advantage in who has first dibs on the title, especially in a time of unprecedented tensions regarding what’s deemed racially insensitive.
Chuck Hoskin, Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, certainly seems to think Jeep crossed a line. This is actually the first time the group has ever asked Jeep to change a vehicle’s name, though Jeep has also gone on record numerous times to defend its use.
Today’s Rare Ride comes from a time when Jeep still offered a two-door pickup to the American small truck consumer.
Super clean, pretty retro, and with great tape stripes, it’s the Jeep Comanche Pioneer. A fitting example of the first-ever Jeep featured in this series!
Eighty years of anything is a lot, with life and marriage – and the occasional fruitcake – being heartily celebrated if they ever make it that far. There have been a few car brands to mark this milestone as well; Jeep is the latest to join the club.
Rather than rent the local banquet hall for a party, however, they’ve decided to do what carmakers tend to do best in times like these: Roll out a few special editions.
Look up the Jeep Cherokee on the brand’s consumer website and you’ll see a lot of trims, but there’s also one you won’t see: Overland. Topping the Cherokee trim ladder, Overland is a well-appointed but under-advertised ride, meaning it’s one you don’t see much of plying local streets or sitting patiently outside the grocery store.
And for 2021, you won’t see it at all.
Before most of us were aware of the existence of coronavirus, Fiat Chrysler was idling its Jeep Cherokee plant to align production with falling sales. It certainly wasn’t the first time in recent memory. As the model grew in age, sales fell — to the tune of 20 percent in 2019.
Cherokee production, like that of all other vehicles assembled in the United States, is now offline, but there’ll be a proposition awaiting Jeep buyers when things return to normal (or whatever passes for normal in the months ahead).
While Jeep may be a big money maker for Fiat Chrysler, the rugged off-road brand’s products aren’t all doing fabulously. A downturn in consumer enthusiasm has left the automaker with too many Cherokees in its inventory, so something has to give.
Belvidere Assembly goes dark for two weeks this month.
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- ToolGuy "Mr. President, no government agency, no think tank, and no polling firm knows more about the automobile customer than us. We talk to customers every day. As retail automotive dealerships, we are agnostic as to what we sell. Our business is to provide customers with vehicles that meet the needs of their budgets and lifestyles.”• How many lies can you fit into one paragraph?
- Spamvw Three on the tree, even Generation X would have a hard time stealing one of those.
- ToolGuy This trend of cyan wheels needs to end NOW.
- Kwik_Shift Interesting nugget(s) of EV follies. https://x.com/WallStreetApes/status/1729212326237327708?s=20
- SaulTigh I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you really cared about the environment you'd be encouraging everyone to drive a standard hybrid. Mature and reliable technology that uses less resources yet can still be conveniently driven cross country and use existing infrastructure.These young people have no concept of how far we've come. Cars were dirty, stinking things when I was a kid. They've never been cleaner. You hardly ever see a car smoking out the tail pipe or smell it running rich these days, even the most clapped out 20 year old POS. Hybrids are even cleaner.