Is Jeep Looking to Re-enter the Pickup Truck Market?

Is Jeep Looking to Re-enter the Pickup Truck Market?
By Mark Williams for PickupTrucks.com

Jeep hasn't offered a pickup for sale to consumers in North America since the 1992 Jeep Comanche, but the idea continues to be kicked around its halls. Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep brand, expressed great interest in the compact and midsize pickup truck market in a recent interview during the media's first drive of the 2011 Grand Cherokee.

“That’s a segment that I’m very curious about,” Manley said. “I know it’s had a rough time here in the U.S., but globally it still seems to be an important sector.”

As CEO, Manley has profit and loss responsibility for Jeep’s global portfolio, so he’s driven to make sure everything Jeep does can make money. As a result, he said he ‘s looking for every opportunity to expand the brand, as well as make sure it stays true to Jeep's heritage. But could that mean a pickup?

“I know there’s a lot of elasticity in the Jeep brand globally, so we’re not limiting our search for new-vehicle opportunities or new markets,” Manley said.

Interestingly, when discussing the future of Jeep, Manley was quick to go back to some recent pickup truck concept vehicles, but without calling any of them by name. They’ve kept coming in a steady cadence during the past decade.

An apparently production-ready Jeep Scrambler made a brief appearance at the 2003 NADA convention in San Francisco before it was suddenly pulled after only a few hours. Nothing was heard from about that truck again. In 2005, Jeep showed the well-received Gladiator Concept. In 2007, there was the Jeep JT and in 2008, the J8 Sarge. Most recently, we drove the awesome Jeep Nukizer 715 in Moab, Utah, earlier this year at Easter Jeep Safari.

Manley’s background is deep with international sales and marketing experience, so he’s very familiar with Europe, Asia, and China, where small trucks are big business. He was originally brought on during the DaimlerChrysler days to work with international sales and distribution.

Before this current job as Jeep’s CEO, Manley was in charge of sales and global product planning operations.

Although no information or confirmation was given about future products, we were encouraged to hear that there might be some playful thought being given to expanding the Jeep brand in a pickup truck direction.

It wouldn’t surprise us if a futuristic-looking Kaiser pickup truck appeared at one of the big auto shows by next year, based on the overwhelmingly positive response the Nukizer 715 received in Moab. We can only hope.

Comments

I tend to agree with several truck enthusiasts out there. I myself would like to see a Diesel Pickup, let alone in a Jeep. That's two combinations I would buy at the dealership without haggling or question. The fact of the matter is people today are tired of plastic outsourced gas forced junk. And frankly I don't blame them. The thought that I can buy a Diesel pickup in Brazil (Ford Ranger), however I can not buy a Diesel Pickup in the USA (without building it myself) is frustrating. If people want it, build it. I understand that corporation’s have to build to tighter compliances, spend money in research, but for over 5 years this has been in the mix (probably longer). However, if you continue to test the market without moving into to it until it's too late. Then you have failed, not only to the market but to us the consumer. You have the ability to take a Mercedes Diesel and place it into a Jeep body (Cummins would be very nice with an Alison Transmission, however understand if under certain contracts you can’t). You have the technology to have it meet the standards. What do we need to do as a group of consumers to help get the ball rolling from thought to show room? –Shawn (aka D132)

Actually, nice truck. I think it should have a gas and diesel option. (For those who still care, Diesels are compatible with other fuels when electric cars fail). Also, yes. Jeep hasn't produced a "crew cab" pickup ever in the U.S. and it was a downfall when family people needed an all-in-one, they went to Ford and Chevy. Great personal truck, I hope they produce.

Just signed up to be one of the first to test drive the Mahindra!
The "Big Three" just don't have the balls. I'm tired of lousy fuel milage bring on the small diesels...

Build it ! keep it around $20,000 to 25,000. It will sell. There's nothing out there likeit. Yes and put a diesel option on it .

I guess the reason nothing is like it , is the market and profit margins on building it are limited.

Please produce this jeep truck with manual gears, we will buy one!

I have a 1995 jeep wrangler that has 230,000 miles on it. Its been a great ride but its hard to find space for mine gear. Living in south texas is a hunter or fishermans paradise.So the extra space of a off-road pick-up would be a great thing to have. I also have a F350 4x4 but its just to big sometimes. I need something I can take to the lease or the beach, make-it and they will COME !!!

Will it have plastic fenders on it like ALL of jeep's newer models? Come on! I really think that thing us hideous! What happened to the scrambler? The other CJs? YJs? I want my inline 6 and steel bumpers thank you. Bring back a simple truck like the Comanche or scrambler or don't build a truck at all. After seeing jeeps latest styles- the patriot, the commander- I am losing faith in the company. Bring me back the old jeeps I know and love! I take my XJ over this piece of crap any day.



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