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Can the new Cherokee beat the old one?

by David Zatz on

When the “KL” Jeep Cherokee came out, people immediately compared it to the popular “XJ” 1984-98 Jeep Cherokee, which is still surprisingly prevalent on the street.

Jim Morrison and Jeep Cherokees

From January 1 to November 30, Jeep sold 196,211 Cherokees.  How does that compare to the original, which was sold at a time when there was minimal competition, but also when few even considered an SUV?

AMC built roughly 100,000 Cherokees per year from 1984 to 1987; then the numbers climbed, peaking in model-year 1989, with 208,213 made in the US.  Many of these American made Cherokees were sold in other parts of the world, mostly Canada.

U.S. sales in the second generation were generally over 100,000 but well below 200,000.

The overall top year for US production was 1996, when, allegedly, 235,102 were made — but just 148,544 were sold in the US; in 1997, that number went down to 130,041.

Thus, the current Cherokee is on track to beat the best of the original XJ Cherokees in U.S. sales, especially with dealer-level incentives growing — in a much tighter market, albeit one where SUVs and crossovers are not only accepted but preferred.

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