FCA Hosting Dealer Meeting: Jeep Pickup & Grand Wagoneer Possibly There
Fiat Chrysler is currently holding a meeting for many of its nationwide dealerships to show off – in deep secret – a few future models. Though the meeting, taking place in Las Vegas, bars attendees from bringing cell phones and camera, the lucky few will get a glimpse of what FCA has up its sleeve. However, that doesn’t stop the speculation from rolling through the industry as to what’s being shown.
High on the list of speculated models is a production version of a Jeep Wrangler-based pickup truck. The pickup would be classified as a midsize and would likely not compete with Ram, despite protests from the all-truck brand. Since it would share the Wrangler’s bones, the truck would focus more on off-road capability than towing and hauling numbers.
What’s more, the Wrangler is slated for a complete redesign for the 2018 model year, meaning any legitimate Wrangler pickup concept would be based on the yet-unseen future Jeep. Talk about a two-for-one.
This isn’t the first time Jeep has toyed with a Wrangler pickup. In 2005, the brand debuted the 2005 Jeep Gladiator. Attempts to move the Gladiator from concept to production have failed repeatedly, though Jeep’s current CEO, Mike Manley, has shown great interest in moving forward with a truck.
Also rumored to be making an appearance are the 2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and next-generation Chrysler minivan. The Grand Wagoneer is slated to compete with high-end luxury SUVs like the Range Rover while the new minivan is said to take a large departure form the current boringness that is the 2014 Town & Country. It’s even said the van will have a plug-in hybrid version that gets upwards of 75 MPGe, along with an AWD option on non-hybrid models.
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Why It Matters
The addition of a Wrangler-based pickup would be fantastic for the Jeep brand. With the runaway success that’s been the Wrangler Unlimited, the more people-friendly four-door version, the Wrangler has proven it is capable of raking in profits. Add to that a midsize competitor that would out-maneuver the Colorado, Canyon, Tacoma, and Frontier off road – along with being compatible with the huge aftermarket support enjoyed by the Wrangler – and FCA would have a hit on its hands.
Though Chrysler hasn’t been seen as a true luxury automaker in decades and Jeep has never really established itself as “high-end luxury,” the Grand Wagoneer would surely do well against the Range Rover, especially in the U.S.
Read our speculative review on the 2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer here.
Source: Automotive News