Why Introducing a New Wrangler-Based Truck Makes Absolute Sense For Jeep
17 March 2015 - Carbuzz
It's really a no-brainer. It’s the rumor that never wants to die. Perhaps that’s because Jeep doesn’t want that to happen, and it’s just waiting for the right moment to strike.
There’ve been plenty of rumors regarding the introduction of a new Jeep pickup truck, and CEO Mike Manley has gone on record saying he’s "a big fan of a Jeep pickup. I think we have history that says it belongs in our portfolio." And yet there’s still nothing. Why? "At this moment in time, I have higher priorities," Manley summarized.
Fair enough, but a new report coming from Detroit News is attempting to make the business case for that truck to happen. Essentially, it believes the next-generation Wrangler, due in 2017, would make a fantastic base for a small pickup. We whole heartedly agree. In its research, DN spoke with an IHS Automotive senior analyst who brought up an excellent point: "How many SUVs can you make? They’re (Jeep) running out of space within their own lineup to generate sales with new product. The only one that makes sense is a small/compact pickup truck." Another possibility is to base it off the same platform that underpins the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.
The downside there is that they don’t have a truck traditional body-on-frame construction process. A Wrangler-based truck also hasn’t happened yet because the Toledo production facility is already running at full capacity. But Toledo wants to expand that plant for the new Wrangler, thus potentially making room for that truck offshoot. What’s more, the new Wrangler would offer the best option to have a true Jeep pickup, from both a mechanical and off-road capable perspective. "It could fit with Jeep’s DNA better than a lot of other products could," the IHS analyst concluded. "Jeep is not likely to ever be a sedan."