About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2: Jeep Cherokee?

Be careful with an icon. Porsche has managed to nurture their original design and so has VW to a certain extent. The Jeep Wrangler has also stayed true to the original WW II design, while getting better (it wouldn't have taken much). But Jeep has another iconic design in their portfolio, which seems to have lost its way. Let's look back to the original smaller suv.......

This simple little station wagon was practical, but it was a Jeep and that implied a certain toughness and it sure looked the part. Even if driven by a female......

Of course, she must be Wonder Woman to be able to park in that tight a space, but that is a whole other story about ads from the '50's. This Jeep was an iconic design.

Flash forward to the 1980's and the introduction of the original Cherokee, which slotted into the Jeep line up below the Wagoneer. This was a design which strongly showed its Willys heritage.......

........a simple, boxy design that sure looked like an updated knock off of the original. And that, of course was the point. Although you could make it fancy, it was Jeep tough and could handle the roughest off road trails. This design ran for years and firmly established the Cherokee name. So why change it? That is a very good question.

But change it they did to Liberty and while doing so, gave it a softer design, that although squarish, seemed a touch wimpy. So why drop an established name? Other companies have done so and faired rather badly (think Acura). Even Jeep must have had their doubts, since the Cherokee name has continued to be used in overseas markets.

Time for a redesign.......

And a very good job, with a blocky look that went right back to the original. But there was still that Liberty name.

Jeep sales have been very strong over the past few years and I believe there was even talk of doing separate Jeep dealerships. Time for another redesign, but this time it was re-christened "Cherokee", as it should have been all along. The design? Well see for yourself........

2014 Jeep Cherokee
Introduced last week at the New York Auto Show, it is now showing a real change. Interesting(?) front end interpretation of the classic up right Jeep grille, but in a softer context along with rather flowing body lines. Does it matter? Maybe not. The traditionalists are up in arms, but can it capture more sales with new buyers than it will lose with the oldies? As always time will tell (profound statement). Apparently as capable an off roader as ever.

Iconic designs. Tough to have them age and obviously Jeep doesn't feel it is an issue. Good for them, let's cross our fingers.

Until next time........


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