Confirmed Jeep WILL Build a Pickup
While automakers revealed new cars and concept over the last few days at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, the most surprising revelation could be the confirmation that Jeep will indeed offer a pickup. Here is what we know.
The confirmation of the pickup comes from the top with Jeep global chief Mike Manley and FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne both saying it will be built. According to the Detroit News, the truck will be built alongside the Wrangler in Toledo, Ohio.
“Sergio and I work very, very closely on the Jeep product portfolio, and both of us have been a fan of a potential Wrangler pickup,” Manley told the Detroit News.
“For me, there is a historical place in our lineup for it.”
During a press conference, Marchionne laid out the plan for the Wrangler saying it will be part of a new 5-year global plan. This new plan, expected to be Marchionne’s last with his plans to set down, has many lofty goals. For example, it plans to increase “deliveries by almost 50 percent, while at the same time erasing 7 billion euros ($7.65 billion) in debt and more than tripling net income to about 5 billion euros by 2018. With plans to expand Alfa Romeo into a serious BMW challenger proving tougher than expected and no game-changing deal on the horizon, most analysts aren’t giving him much of a chance,” according to Auto News.
With these lofty goals, it makes sense for Jeep to offer a pickup and expand its lineup globally. While the Ram truck guys have to be fuming over this news, Ram is simply not a global brand and Jeep is turning into one.
Jason Lancaster, head guru at Tundraheadquarters.com, weighed in on the news:
“Jeep is a global brand. The only reason people think it should be limited to SUVs is because they haven’t been overseas. A Jeep pickup is going to be huge in central america, SE Asia (trucks are big in Thailand, Vietnam, etc.), and China. I also happen to think it will do quite well in the USA, especially if they make it with a 5′ bed and 4 doors. It’ll be like a Wrangler 4-door, except practical. Should sell like crazy.”
For the record, I have been critical of Jeep bringing a truck to market, yet with the success of the GM twins and the growth in the segment, the business case must look pretty good to FCA. Also, throw in the idea that this truck could be sold globally and the business case gets even better.
There are no specifics or designs showcasing the new truck yet. If I were a betting man, I would bet on the 2017 North American Auto Show as being the spot for the Jeep truck to make an appearance.
What do you think? Smart or dumb?
Filed Under: Auto News