If you’ve been saving up and dreaming of buying a Jeep Wrangler pickup truck, keep waiting: Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley says such a vehicle is still at least four years away. Although a Jeep pickup remains a high priority for Manley, he told Automotive News that one won’t be added until the Wrangler is refreshed in 2015 or 2016.
“It is too late in Wrangler’s product cycle to add a pickup. The 2015 or 2016 time frame makes more sense,” Manley told AN.
Jeep last built a pickup truck in the form of the Cherokee-based Comanche, sold from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Recently, Jeep has teased enthusiasts with a slew of concept vehicles like the Gladiator and Wrangler JT, as well as the JK-8 conversion kit. The $5499 JK-8 kit allows owners of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to convert the four-door SUV into a pickup truck with just a sawzall and angle-grinder.
The company knows that demand for a Jeep pickup is high; the JK-8 kit has already sold about 300 copies. And the compact Jeep-based pickup could be sold in southeast Asia and Europe, helping bolster Chrysler’s bottom line in those international markets where demand for small pickups is strong.
When the refreshed Jeep Wrangler debuts in 2015 or 2016, it seems quite likely that a pickup variant will be launched. Manley, however, says that no concrete decision on such a vehicle has yet been made.
“I am working closely with the product team because I think a pickup would be a great addition and a natural extension of the product line,” Manley told AN.
Source: Automotive News