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Although Chrysler is maintaining that it’s current priorities still lie elsewhere, the concept of a Jeep pickup remains near and dear for the brand’s CEO John Manley.
Although he said there are currently no resources available to work on a Jeep pickup at this time, Manley reiterated that “the idea continues to progress because of interest in the vehicle.”
However, in order to eventually get the green light, such a project might need to be tailored to markets outside North America, particularly parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, where small, crew cab, four-cylinder pickups have been popular for decades.
What form the Jeep truck will take remains to be seen. A production version of the Wrangler based ‘Gladiator’ concept might be one, which would surely make it one of the most unique trucks sold anywhere in the world.
In order to compete in international markets, said truck would likely boast a 1 metric ton payload capacity (2,205 lbs), though a business case for it would also hinge on the ability to produce and sell it in various markets, taking into consideration manufacturing locations available as well as import/export laws and tariffs.
If a Jeep pickup does ultimately get the go ahead it probably won’t be for the next few years, as Chrysler continues to focus on more immediate product introductions in the wake of its corporate re-structuring. Nevertheless, Manley remains quietly optimistic about the truck’s prospects. “It’s something of huge interest to me,” he says.
[Source: Pickup Trucks.com]
The vehicle in question is said to resemble the 2005 Jeep Gladiator concept, using the Wrangler Unlimited platform but with two-doors and a bed in the rear. Said to be headed into production in 2011, it should arrive on dealer lots in 2012.
PickupTrucks.com reports that Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley has expressed interest in the past in building a small pickup, due to their popularity throughout the world. Plus, the creation of a small pickup for the Jeep brand would certainly work with Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s plan to expand the Chrysler brands internationally.
Jeep hasn’t offered a pickup model since the Jeep Comanche ended production in 1992.
GALLERY: Jeep Gladiator Concept
Dominating the headlines following Chrysler‘s first dealer meeting in three years yesterday was news of a new Viper planned for 2012. But apart from headline-grabbing sports cars, Chrysler execs made plenty of comments regarding the company’s commitment to the truck and SUV segment.
For the new RAM brand, CEO Fred Diaz commented that his team is studying bringing a “Baby Ram” to market, with an estimated 30-mpg and room for four. This could replace the Dodge Dakota as RAM’s entry-level work truck, with a next-generation Dakota confirmed to take more of a lifestyle direction.
The RAM brand also has plans to target lifestyle truck buyers with a luxurious “Longhorn” model that will debut at the Texas State Fair in two weeks. RAM execs didn’t comment on if it would bear any resemblance to the Mopar Dodge Ram Bianco model shown at last year’s SEMA Show. The truck will, however, feature a Longhorn logo that can be removed from the floor mat and used as a belt buckle.
As for features, the “Ram Box” storage area currently found on the 1500 model trucks, will be made available on the 2500 and 3500 heavy duty work trucks.
And finally, Jeep execs hinted at expanding their lineup to include a pickup truck, rolling out what is believed to be the Jeep Gladiator Concept from several years back. Jeep execs would not comment on if this model was slated for production.