It’s been exactly a decade since Jeep got truck fans all worked up with the Gladiator Concept at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, but it seems like there still might be a chance for a Wrangler-based pickup to make it into production. That all comes down to the top brass at Jeep, and a report from CarAdvice indicates that such a truck might have a powerful cheerleader in its corner.

Following an interview with Mike Manley, Jeep president and CEO, the Australian site is reporting that Manley is “a big advocate” for a Wrangler pickup, but there has still not been a decision made about this truck’s fate. The key roadblock to a mid-size truck wearing a Jeep badge could be the Ram brand – Chrysler’s truck division. Just last year, a Fiat-based, unibody pickup truck was spotted testing in the U.S., but there is still no indication as to what that truck could have been.

What is known about the truck market is that the segment for midsize pickups is on the rebound right now led by the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, while the segment’s top-selling Toyota Tacoma is getting its own makeover for the 2016 model year (just unveiled in Detroit). With the next-gen Jeep Wrangler still a couple more years away from launch, there is no doubt a pickup truck would help further expand the brand’s ever-growing customer base.

Jeep is currently coming off its best sales year ever with global sales topping one million units, and, as the article points out, the addition of a pickup model would only further expand Jeep’s reach in countries such as Australia. Either way, with the all-new Jeep Renegade crossover getting ready to launch later this year, Jeep is going to be building plenty of momentum toward the next-generation Wrangler launch in 2017, and a Wrangler pickup would be the icing on the cake for many Jeep and truck enthusiasts.

Click past the jump to read more about the production version for Wrangler Ute.

Why it matters

Jeep has been expanding into new segments recently with a goal of improving global sales, and the addition of a Wrangler pickup truck would surely do just that in many countries where small trucks outsell full-size pickups. It all comes down to the Jeep name, too, which has a limited history with pickup trucks – limited to the Comanche, CJ-8 Scrambler and J10 – but all of which have loyal followings among Jeep enthusiasts. Manley told CarAdvice that such a model “fits into the portfolio exactly,” so only time will tell if Sergio & Co. are ready to pull the trigger on an off-roading, cargo-friendly Wrangler truck.

Source: CarAdvice

Jeffrey N. Ross
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