A Jeep pickup now seems more likely to become a production reality, with the carmaker using the Detroit Auto Show to push the idea.
Confirmation reportedly came from Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne, while Jeep boss Mike Manley told Detroit News that the new model would complement existing Jeep models.
“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,” Mr Manley said.
“For me, there is a historical place in our line-up for it.”
Besides stirring the emotions of Jeep fans with the news that the Wrangler pickup is a goer, it seems Fiat Chrysler has no other details to share.
The earlier report pointed to a retooling of Jeep’s Toledo plant in Ohio to serve the dual purpose of increasing Wrangler production and allowing for the new pickup model.
Engine, transmission and driveline options could theoretically match the Wrangler, but Jeep is yet to confirm this.
Speaking to TMR, Jeep Australia spokesman Andrew Chesterton acknowledged that the presence of a ute in the brand's product lineup would be a boon for it in this market, but as yet nothing has been officially announced.
"Utes are obviously a key market segment in this country, but while no confirmation has been given regarding that car the idea of a Jeep ute would be an exciting one," he said.
More details about the Wrangler pickup project are expected to come later this year, and Fiat Chrysler will reportedly outline an updated version of its Five-Year Plan at the same time.
Manley also kept quiet on whether the single replacement for Jeep’s Patriot and Compass SUV models would wear the Compass badge, saying only that an answer would be forthcoming at this year’s New York Auto Show.
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