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