European Influence Slowly Ruining Jeep Brand
by Larry Morton
2014 Jeep Cherokee
The recent announcement from Jeep is the new 2014 Cherokee which has created quite a stir among Jeep enthusiasts and "progressive" European designers.
Those of us who really understand the history and the essence of what the "Jeep" badge stands for are appalled at the seemingly endless cookie-cutter designs of most vehicles influenced by European design.
What is the European design look? Well, just try this out for yourselves. Pick out 10 European designed vehicles available in the world, especially in the SUV market.
I'll leave it up to you to make your call, but as for me they all look like they came from the same automotive DNA with only a few variations. The grille, headlight, parking and tail-light configurations are just about all that distinguishes each model from the other.
Just a few years ago it was simple for most automotive enthusiasts to see a vehicle from a hundred yards or more away and tell you the year, make and model. These days when I see a newer SUV right next to me I have to look for a manufacturers emblem or badge to even identify who made the silly thing.
Well, Fiat/Chrysler/Jeep has been doing the same with its SUV's for some time now and it just seems to get worse each new model year. Did these European designers really think that by adding a faux 7-slot grille the 2014 Cherokee would have any
semblance of being a real iconic Jeep? I personally take it as an insult.
The European designers of this so-called "Cherokee" suggest that we not "judge a book by its cover" and should look more at the functional internals of this All-Wheel-Drive SUV. Again, pick any European based SUV, with AWD, and you end up with the same or similar looks of the new Cherokee. So what will distinguish the 2014 Cherokee from other SUVs? Not much that I can see.
How simple would it be to use the "Jeep" formula that has worked for over 70 years to create a tough image look and a tougher drive-train, and build on the success that has made Jeeps great?
The Europeans may like to cater to the wine and cheese crowd, but loyal Jeep owners and lovers of the brand, like myself, know what makes Jeeps great. It is not style over substance...it is style AND substance.
In a perfect world Jeep should have never been allowed to be influenced by Renault, Daimler or Fiat. The Jeep is part of our United States of America heritage and history. Shame on us for letting outsiders decide what we as Americans want or need.
I will surely know that the future of Jeeps will be lost if and when the Jeep Wrangler is compromised like so many other great American vehicles. That will truly be a sad day.
Larry Morton, Owner/Editorwww.4-The-Love-of-Jeeps.com