I may be incorrect in saying this...only being based on post from owners abroad....I do believe that the KK bares the "Cherokee" name in other countries such as Australia.
Thank you for knowing your KK.
I've been a Jeep/car guy since before the CJ7.
I've seen all sorts of vehicles go through evolutionary changes from generation to generation of production changes.
The Cherokee line, as its own separate model, started as a full sized two door SUV in , I believe, 1974. It was body on frame,leaf sprung, live axle,V8, size of a blazer.SJ
Then comes 1984. Compact,unit body, front coils. Still competent off road. Cherokee. Downsized for the times. And... a runaway hit.XJ
Now comes 1993. Time for the ten year freshen up. Time to lose the old fashioned rear leaves the automotive press always complains of. Bold new sheetmetal to go with that whiz-bang quadra coil suspension.ZJ
But hold on a minute... upper management is a little aprehensive about killing off the XJ while sales are still through the roof on this little thing.
Lets release it as the "GRAND" cherokee and try to snag back all that business going to troopers and monteros and explorers.
Smart move. Another hit.
After a twelve year run, the XJ still has a market that wont go ZJ. time to freshen up the XJ with a second generation. Smash hit again. Gone is the AMCish interior. Looks like XJ, just more modern and has lots of desirable factory improvements.
Now its 2001. New century. We survived Y2K. Now the XJ is starting to lose market share as the clinton economy money went to big round jap SUVs.
And...the "soccer mom" phenomenon. Make the new cherokee rounded.
Hey... hold on guys...some guys in marketing are saying this new "KJ" cherokee isn't testing well with our north american male buyers. They think we should hold off on killing the XJ just like that.
OK. You guys were right about that last time. Lets keep making the XJ for N.A. But what are you going to call that new thing? Lets think...
BAM ...9/11...Flags everywhere...nation united...freedom fries....patriot act...
You guys got that name yet? "LIBERTY"? OK, run with it.
BAM ...economy shivers...
OK guys. Where are we? Well lets just forget trying to keep the XJ Cherokee and go ahead with the sale of the tooling to the chinese like we'd planned and just move forward with the KJ as third generation of the Cherokee line.
Hold up guys...Management told us to run with this liberty thing and now we have all this Liberty stuff.
Ok.Ok. we'll just call it liberty and foist that upon the world market.Besides. the lawyers all give a thumbs up for un-trampleing native american sensitivities.
Marketing says this "LIBERTY" name is not testing well outside the N.A. market. Can we go back to calling it the Cherokee there? OK? Thanks boss.
So, everywhere else in the world, It still is and always was the CHEROKEE.
But here in the land of liberty, It sells like hotcakes. To soccer moms. Guys give it the cold shoulder even though it wheels on par with the XJ. No guys...no aftermarket.
So when the KK comes along as the fourth generation CHEROKEE, marketing says square it off to get the guys back. Add some generational improvements.
But we gotta keep the LIBERTY name in N.A. because that will lure our soccer mom base to buy another one. Still a cherokee to the rest of the "W" hating world? CHECK!
I bought myself one of the last of the fourth generation Cherokees.
I was a little nervous about what the fifth generation was about to become with FIAT and the "CROSSOVER" phenomenon. What the auto press have dubbed the "Liber-kee"