The Jeep Cherokee Discontinued After 49 Years
This may sting the hearts of many Jeep lovers, but it’s official: the Jeep Cherokee is being discontinued. After 49 years of serving as a staple in Jeep’s lineup, as well as the foundation for many modern SUVs, the Cherokee is dead. This comes as a big surprise to many Jeep fans because not only was it a popular model among enthusiasts, but it was also a contender in the very competitive mid-size SUV market. While the automaker is aware of what this means for its presence in SUV sales, it shouldn’t suggest that it won’t be leaving this customer demographic anytime soon.
Why is the Jeep Cherokee Discontinued?
As much as it can hurt, all good things come to an end. While the Jeep Cherokee managed an impressive 49-year run coming off the factory line, sales have been facing a sharp decline for some time. Many of the 2023 Cherokee’s trim options had to be dialed back after the SUV was experiencing consistently low sales since the latest generation has been on the market for ten years.
On March 1st, the Belvidere Assembly plant in Illinois, where Stellantis produces the Jeep Cherokee, was put on hold. As the automaker concludes its negotiations with the United Auto Workers union, this hold on production may likely become final. According to Stellantis, they intend on maintaining their presence in the mid-size SUV market, though it is unknown if future models will fall under the Cherokee name.
With The Jeep Cherokee Discontinued, What About the Jeep Grand Cherokee?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, the bigger brother of the Jeep Cherokee, was renewed in Jeep’s SUV lineup and will continue to carry the Cherokee name. Its popularity has allowed the automaker to expand on its variety of trims, technological upgrades, and drivetrain choices, serving as a figurehead for Stellantis’ growing production of hybrids and EVs.
Jeep also received some backlash from the Cherokee Nation in 2021, who asked the automaker to stop using the tribe’s name on their SUVs. According to Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, “I’m sure this comes from a place that is well-intended, but it does not honor us by having our name plastered on the side of a car.”