Jeep Gives Bad News on Wrangler Pickup Debut
Looks like we’ll be waiting even longer…by Mark McNabb, on
It seems we’ve got a longer wait before Jeep introduces the upcoming Wrangler Pickup. The news comes directly from Jeep boss Mike Manley during the media launch event for the new 2017 Jeep Compass. Manley told the Detroit News the Wrangler-based truck wouldn’t enter production until late 2019.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time Jeep has pushed back the yet-unnamed pickup. Originally the Wrangler Pickup was scheduled to debut along side the Wrangler SUV in late 2017. The truck was then pushed further back to sometime in mid-2018. While Manley’s explanation for the hold-up makes sense, it is still cause for trepidation from Jeep loyalists.
So what’s going on? Manley says production of the Wrangler Pickup will wait until the Wrangler SUV is in full-scale production. “The key thing for me is to make sure the new Wrangler is fully up and running,” Manley told the Detroit News. He also confirmed the new 2018 Wrangler would launch during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Part of the issue is Fiat Chrysler’s current game of musical chairs it’s playing with assembly plants. Much of FCA’s products are undergoing a relocation of production, including the Wrangler. The current Wrangler JK is assembled at the Supplier Park portion of Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio complex. The upcoming Wrangler JL will be assembled nearby at the Toledo Complex’s North Plant. Both versions of the Wrangler will be in production for a short time, allowing Jeep to normalize Wrangler JL production. At that time, the current-generation Wrangler JK will cease production, opening up the Supplier Park for the production of the Wrangler Pickup. All told, FCA is spending upwards of $700 million to renovate Jeep’s Toledo Assembly Complex.
While Jeep could still make the 2019 model-year goal for the Wrangler Pickup, it’s far more likely the long-awaited model will debut as a 2020 model.
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Why It Matters
Jeep enthusiasts have long waited for another pickup to enter Jeep’s portfolio. What’s more, these Jeepers have called for a Wrangler-biased pickup – one that would concur the Rubicon trail while still being able to compete with other mid-size pickups for payload and towing capacities. Now that Jeep is officially planning such a vehicle, those anxious for results getting impatient. The anticipation only grows stronger each time the production date is pushed further out. Hopefully, this is the last time.
Read our full review on the upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler here.
Read our speculative review on the upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler here.
Source: Detroit News