By Patrick Olsen
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a roundtable discussion this morning that Jeep will introduce a “multipurpose” vehicle that will have a pickup truck-like bed in the back.
Talking about the Gladiator concept that was shown in Florida last year, Marchionne said, “I like that vehicle. I liked it the first day I saw it. There’s a better than 50 percent chance that you’ll get one. Regardless of what Ram says. They’re totally peeved off at the fact that we’re going to have anything that looks like a pickup truck with a Jeep badge on it. I actually think that there’s space for it.”
“So you just said yes to a Jeep truck?” one journalist asked. “I said [yes] to a multipurpose vehicle out of Jeep,” Sergio replied, “with something that they call a truck bed.”
Just don’t call it a Jeep pickup: “It’s an exotic within Jeep.” The reasoning behind this, according to Marchionne, is that the Ram brand is largely a North American name that has not been, in his word, internationalized. Jeep does not have that issue, hence the potential for a “multipurpose” Jeep with a pickup truck bed.