Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has reportedly confirmed that a Jeep pickup is on the way as the company outlined changes to its production facilities.
The reason? Industry paper Automotive News has learned that the extra floor space is needed in Toledo for future production of a Wrangler Pickup.
Jeep’s Toledo plant is currently equipped to build both the body-on-frame Wrangler and ‘uni-body’ models, such as the Cherokee.
Under the changes, the uni-body side of the plant will be converted to enable expanded production of the Wrangler, but at least some of the extra capacity will be devoted to the new pickup model.
Reports predict combined production for the pair out of the Toledo facility could reach 350,000 units per year.
Little else is known about the Pickup, but a ‘safe bet’ is that the engine and transmission line-up would match those in the Wrangler.
Sizing is less cut-and-dry, and it remains to be seen if a future Wrangler Pickup would be a midsized or large model (depending on who Jeep wants to compete with).
The Wrangler Pickup wouldn’t arrive in showrooms until 2017 or 2018, and development for the new model is continuing.
Other reports out of the US suggest Wrangler production will simply increase and a Pickup model is not on FCA’s radar - for now, at least.
However, FCA’s renewed interest in utes for various of its global markets suggest the company may be serious about a Wrangler Pickup for the US, with both the Mitsubishi Triton-based Fiat Fullback and the new Fiat Toro unveiled in the last two months.
Whether Australian customers are ever given the chance to buy a Fullback, Toro or Wrangler Pickup remains to be seen.
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