Ethnic vehicles, White edition

The New York Times reports that Chrysler is bringing back the Jeep Cherokee.

Jim Morrison, the director of marketing for Jeep, said:

[the car] is a new, very capable vehicle that has the Cherokee name and Cherokee heritage. Our challenge was, as a brand, to link the past image to the present. … We want to be politically correct, and we don’t want to offend anybody.

The Times article includes a slideshow of ethnic vehicles of the past, include Dakota, Comanche, Seneca and Pontiac, but also Viking and Scottsman.

The contemporary ethnic vehicle, however, makes subtle reference to heritage, yet draws on well known associations (not to say “stereotypes”) with the objectified group – in a way that doesn’t offend anybody. In what I’m sure is an unoriginal exercise, and inspired by too much time watching Mad Men, I experimented with a few other possibilities:


Jew: When a car is smart enough already.

frenchcarFrench: You don’t have to be rude.

irishcarIrish. Whimsy plus.


Eat boiled food. Play bagpipes. Grow sideburns. Drive. Scott.

swisscarSwiss. Just because you can’t see the wealth doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

I could have done more, but didn’t want to dilute the brand. (Blogger: you didn’t get into this career cuz you wanted to work all day long.)


Filed under In the news

2 responses to “Ethnic vehicles, White edition

  1. Swiss: just because you don’t see a gun rack doesn’t mean I don’t have an M16 and know how to use it.


  2. Maybe it would be better to have the company name (like Jeep) and then the model name (Cherokee), even a name that suggests the ethnicity rather than naming it, e.g., the Chrysler BarMitzvah. And then there’s the new Chevy Italiano (“With styling like this, who cares if it runs.”)


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