Its all in the name

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by Riddick, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Riddick

    Riddick New Member

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    When I knew I was getting my KJ Jeep I went to look for as much info on them as I could find.
    It took a few days of hunting to find the info I was after and it all came down to the name of it.
    Here in Australia these are called Cherokee's but you look that up here and you get not too much but you enter Liberty and it all comes falling out on your screen.
    So it comes down to the name and once you know its much easier to. But I still do wonder why the name change from America to here.
     
  2. HoosierJeeper

    HoosierJeeper Gold Supporter/Admin Staff Member Administrator

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    Originally Jeep was going to keep the Cherokee XJ in the line up as a budget model for the US hence why they called the Liberty something not Cherokee. Then at the last minute they decided to let the XJ die but it was too late/expensive to change the Liberty's name.

    Outside of the US they never planned to keep the XJ going so the Cherokee name was clear.
     
  3. profdlp

    profdlp Grouchy Old Cuss

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    The story I heard is that the original Jeep we call the "Liberty" over here was intended to be the next generation of the Cherokee. For whatever reason, Chrysler wanted to go with a patriotic theme in their line and picked Liberty and Patriot as names for their new Jeeps. One theory is that since the Liberty does not have a solid front axle they wanted to preserve the Cherokee name for future use as their "heavy duty" model (aside from the Wrangler). It was thought that the names Liberty and Patriot might mean different things in the worldwide market while "Cherokee" still had an exotic Native American appeal to those overseas.

    Of course, this might all be bunk. ;)

    EDIT: I had not seen HoosierJeeper's reply when I posted as I was trying to look up more info. His answer makes more sense, I think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  4. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

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    I'm sure both reasons were discussed in the board rooms down in Detroit... they both seem reasonable to me.
     
  5. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    Forget where I heard it...but I heard the "patriotic" theme was the reason for the difference in naming as well. I heard that this was decided after 9/11.
     
  6. profdlp

    profdlp Grouchy Old Cuss

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    I'd heard that as well. The only thing is, the 2002's would have hit the dealers by September 2001, or at least been ready to go at the factory storage area. Plus, the marketing campaign would have had to have been prepared long before then.

    Update: Looks like it was earlier that spring.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Liberty_(KJ)

     
  7. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Jim Allen in case you don't already know is one of the foremost authorities on Jeeps, period.
    In his book " Jeeps" he tells that the Liberty was actually started in the mid 1990s under the codename XJR. It was suppose to completely replace the Cherokee ( XJ ) lineup as it was past its prime.
    They wanted something close in size to the Grand Cherokee ( ZJ then ) but sleeker . Favorable response to a 1997 concept vehicle turned the project in a new direction and new name KJ ( Liberty was yet to be picked )
    If you look at the 1997 Dakar and the Jeepster of 1998 they provide a good visual of what the KJ turned into
    It ( the KJ ) went on sale in early 2001 as a 2002 model alongside the Cherokee XJs which they were finishing the lineup on.
    So if Jim is correct which we know he is, then they were still using the Cherokee name on a limited basis here in the US and so couldn't use the name
    Still reading his book back through again to see if he tells what or how the Liberty came about .
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  8. Dave

    Dave Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Yeah, I don't remember what he said specificaly but I had one of his books and gave it to my son.


    Dave
     
  9. HoosierJeeper

    HoosierJeeper Gold Supporter/Admin Staff Member Administrator

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    What book is that? I'd like to get it. Have a few of his other books, but not that one.
     
  10. JeepinJarhead03

    JeepinJarhead03 Full Access Member

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    one of the main reasons they used liberty was to seperate it from the grand cherokee name likeness while the GC underwent about a decade of revisions. The 2000/2001 jeep cherokee's were also still making record sales which gave them a 2nd reason to change the name as not to stall out sales of last year model Cherokees

    it's a namesake separation marketing scheme , WK was "fully redesigned" for 2005, and 2006 the Overland packages were added, "fully redesigned" again in 2011, big facelift in 2014 that coincided with them bringing Cherokee namesake back to the the line for the first US widebody compact SUV, which re-associated the name with a 35-45k dollar vehicle line, deshocking people when they saw the price tag

    that was roughly the spiel we got when i was still selling when the KL's were released
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  11. tjkj2002

    tjkj2002 Full Access Member

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    Over in Europe there is another vehicle already called Liberty and with a high end aftermarket company called Liberty Walk.

    That is why they decided to keep the Cherokee for KJ/KK's for export models since there was a name issue.Worked at a Dealership during this time and had to do the whole briefing thing and training.

    The last XJ to roll off the assembly line was before the 1st KJ was built.December of 2000 was the last date you could order a XJ through a dealership,3 months before the official production start of the KJ's.