Jeep's CEO Patiently Bullish About Pickup Truck

Jeep's CEO Patiently Bullish About Pickup Truck

Even though enthusiasm for a Jeep pickup continues to run strong, its development is taking a back seat to more urgent projects at Chrysler, according to Jeep's CEO.

“[The pickup] continues to progress because of the interest in the vehicle,” said Jeep chief Mike Manley. “One of the things as a company that we’ve had to be very disciplined in is where we’re putting our resources. We’re still in recovery mode and have to be very careful with our investments. We have so much going on. Our resources are fully dedicated to small vehicles, [new transmissions] and working with Fiat. There are none left to work on the Jeep pickup [at this time].”

If and when a Jeep pickup does arrive, it might head to overseas markets as well as the U.S..

“There’s clear interest in the U.S. for a pickup,” Manley said, “It could [also] give us potential for some of our international markets even though the pickup market is slightly different outside of the U.S.”

In global regions, such as Southeast Asia and Europe, fuel-efficient midsized crew cab pickups with a hauling capacity of one metric ton (1,000 kilograms or 2,205 pounds) are highly popular.

Manley thinks a Jeep pickup sold outside of North America could find new territory to compete in.

“If you took a Wrangler-based pickup [similar to the Jeep Gladiator concept pictured above], it would almost still remain as a unique vehicle in international markets,” Manley said. “We could do a metric ton version of it. That’s the biggest market. But a lot of the market is commoditized. I wouldn’t want to do a commodity Jeep pickup.”

How likely is a crew cab Wrangler-based hauler versus a smaller cab configuration?

“You’d have to be very careful because of the attributes of Wrangler,” Manley said. “Clearly, you could do it, but you’d have to look long and hard at whether you’d moved to far away from what Wrangler is to do that.”

Ultimately, an internationally sold Jeep pickup still depends on its impact to Chrysler’s bottom line.

“There’s an opportunity but whether the business case makes sense or not is the issue,” Manley said. “Mainly because of manufacturing location and [import/export] duties around the world.”

In the meantime, while Chrysler tackles its urgent vehicle development efforts and develops a business case, Manley says the Jeep pickup remains a personal priority.

“It’s certainly something that’s of huge interest to me,” Manley said.

Comments

why not a pickup truck based on the JK w/ removable top and a truck bed? then put a fiat diesel in it, and *POW* ranger T6 who?

i would love to have that jeep if it had the 5.9l Cummins H.O,to bad they stoped makin the 5.9 cummins june 9,2009:(

If this was made , people would want it . it is different. there is always people that want the it truck well this is the it truck. this has classic styling give it the topless option. the fun factor is spot on with this one. opportunity is knocking answer it. I have sold 6 JK's at my local dealer. I don't even work there.

A small/mid size jeep pickup would be the only thing Id trade my 05 Ram 1500 in for in a heart beat I dont need the half ton capability but I do need a bed and a little bit of towing but I need the 4x4 and some off road capability more itd be perfect. Plus the fact that it would prob get a little better mpgs than my full size would be nice please make w/ the pentastar v6 under 28k and I promise Id buy next week

I think a CC m-ton version would be a strong compeditor to the hilux and even the 70 series and Patrol cab/chassis offerings. The hardware is there, its just a matter of the J8 frame being able to accomodate a slightly longer wb. As long as you could load a standard pallet, balanced over the rear axle, the bed would be plenty long at 4 feet in this config. A JK derivative could even replace the Iveco Massiv (rebadged Santana)

Put the fiat diesel in it and start selling it. I would buy in a heartbeat

The stodgey, reluctant, uncreative thinking among automotive executives is astounding! Why does Jeep make this decision so hard? It amazes me that the Commander was green-lighted for production and the Compass was green-lighted for production and the idea of the Gladiator going to production is apparently on scale with the second coming of Christ! What gives? Manley goes on about utilization of resources and concentration on revenue. Well what about the resources wasted on the Commander while the Gladiator sat? What about the huge profits from the Compass? Must be they are the source of funds for the Gladiator production...now that explains why it is not being produced!

@Dom in NY- the JK already has t he VM 2.8 liter diesel. This is not the same as the somewhat underwhelming engine that was in the Liberty. It rather kicks ass, actually.

Yeah, Chrysler, Jeep or Fiat whatever they call themselves need to focus on pressing issues like Jeep's #26 ranking on initial quality:

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110623/RETAIL/110629935/1243

Jeep dont make a pickup Jeep dont get my money , its as simple as that .

Where's Lenny Kravitz?

please put a 5.0L cumins in it

what ever happend to the 5.0L cummins and 4.5L duramax anyway?

A baby diesel and a truck capable of up to 2,000 lb would be interesting. Even a more modest 1,200 lb capacity would be cool.
I can see why Chrysler/Fiat is cautious.
Most of their R&D right now is being used to meet the purchase requirements for Fiat. That would be introducing a fleet of super efficient small cars.
Trucks don't fit into the plan.
We'll see the next gen Colorado/Canyon before we come close to seeing these on the road.

@sleder- Ford, GM, Toyota and Chrysler have all respectively decided that a small V8 diesel is cost prohibitive at this time. The smallish V8s that were developed really aren't the fuel economy engines that might have an impact today. A 3liter V6, like Nissan just released for the Navarra (frontier) would be a better option. GM was trying to make a case for the engine by using it in the 1500 trucks, as well as 2500/3500 trucks, where all the capability of the 6600 Duramax isnt needed. the 610 Van would benefit from the smaller/lighter engine as well. If market conditions improve to make them viable, we will probably see them, but GDI options will probably be the stop-gap for GM and Toyota, while Ford already did just that, with the 3.5L EB.

You'll see the new F-150's and new small truck from Ford before you see this.

IF they do it, they should do the 4-door version with a short bed on the back. A lifestyle truck not a competitor to big trucks.

@ jeepinterest

Yeah, you hit it out of the park on that one

@ Oxi

that may be true but the wrangler still outsells the FJ Cruiser by a pretty wide margin


Why don't they jut build the damned gladiator shown? 2.8L VM Motori diesel, extended cab, not a unibody, and put the 66RFE behind it, bam, that one's out of the park

@Mr Knowitall
Thanks. I didnt know what happend to the project.

Sorry Mr Manley a Jeep Pickup would not fly internationally. Jeep is known for its off road prowess , but not as an off road vehicle as such. Jeeps on road prowess and build quality is not that good. I think the Jeep Pickup will have a nice niche market in the US/Canada on the other hand. It's reputation of being a very utilitarian vehicle as well will go against it as far as selling globally.

@Mrknowitall Jeeps less than stellar reliability has/will go against it competing against the L70. The Patrol is getting old , so hopefully Nissan will pull out a replacement. The Jeep is not competitor to the Hilux, that is where the Global T6 and a new combined effort by Nissan/Mitsubishi will be.

Jeep is letting Jeep/Chrysler/Ram/Mopar fans down.

Jeep fans who wanted this will have to buy something else.

GM isn't letting Chevy fans down.

New Colorado is coming for 2014.

GM will win the heavy duty shootout this summer and GM will win the mid size shootout in 2014. You can take that to the bank!

It should be simple. Study the Utv market. Tough, cheap and yes a diesel would set it apart.
It could be the perfect weekend warrior truck. Dont over think it. 2 doors to start.

@chevy guy - sure Bob.

I just read an article an hour ago that Ford may not bring out a new Ranger for the North American market after 2012....if true, a big mistake by Ford. It is also rumored GM may also discontinue the Canyon and Colorado...another mistake. If I am correct, Ranger sales last year in North America were 350,000(or maybe that's just the US and not Canada included?) and what would be wrong with those numbers?...some mfg'ers would kill for those numbers!

As for a Jeep truck in my opinion...surely Jeep has the reputation for being a good off-roader but I would NOT buy this thing based on it's quirky looks and functionality, and every consumer report I read on many Jeep and Chrysler products based on 3 yr old used vehicles gives them a poor rating. I owned 1 Chrysler product in the past and it was the worst vehicle I ever owned.

this would be a perfect work/play truck. Looks awesome to drive and works equally as well. Plus people young&older would buy it, don't get fancy, couple engine options v6&diesel. These trucks would get bought up in a hurry.

will never out sell the Tacoma.

@shop cat,

The FJ is not priced as an entry-level high school kid can buy one type of vehicle as the Jeep is...

Most that buy an FJ are middle to upper middle class and well educated...

"Jeep has the reputation for being a good off-roader"

That may be true but why do so many Jeeps break parts when they off-road?

My recent off-road trip, their was a group of 5 Jeeps and they all broke something yet here I am with my daily driven Tacoma with about 300lbs of gear in the bed, went through everything they did and I drove mine home no issues!

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f36/oxi3/DSCI0027.jpg

"Jeep is known for its off road prowess"

That is until they break parts like they typically do...

They cannot carry much weight either off-road...

For those who comment about Jeep's off-road prowess and low introductory quality I say "Bunk." I have a nearly 4-year-old JK 4-door that handles Blue trails (up to #6) factory stock and have only replaced one tire due to off-road damage. It has yet to require any major maintenance and is a daily driver, though I will admit that I'm only averaging 10,000 miles per year on it.

If you ask me, the JK is no worse than any other brand and the fit and finish is superior, if not as luxurious, as Ford's and GM's. I'll state up front that I speak only for the Wrangler, not any other Jeep model. I agree that certain models should never have even been conceived as the Wrangler, the Liberty and the Grand Cherokee (ne: Wagoneer) met the three basic size/lifestyle needs.

I don't see either the Compass or the Patriot as true Jeeps since they were never designed for any real off-road capability. I believe they only came into the inventory to help Jeep meet fuel mileage standards which better engine design and relatively minor bodywork design could have provided at lower cost. A couple of Jeep's concept designs could have offered as much by replacing the current GC and maybe the Wrangler without losing the heart of what a Jeep is.

Yes, I want a Gladiator. I will not buy a pickup truck unless it's a Gladiator. I might then trade my current JK on a Fiat 500 or an Alpha Romeo.

@ oxi

so in other words what you are trying to say is people who own FJ Cruisers are a bunch of snooty, stuck-up asswipes who think they're better than everyone else?? Is that what you are trying to get across to everyone? That and only poor people buy jeeps? or uneducated people just out of high school or brainless rednecks buy jeeps? Well i guess there has to be some reason why Wrangler is the best selling body-on-frame SUV in the country.. can you tell me why? A Wrangler Rubicon starts at $30k sounds like you'd hafta make a pretty good amount of money to buy one

@shop cat,

Wow you like to put words in people's mouthes, you must work for the corporate media...

Bragging about an suv? That right there is the problem, suv's are silly and for soccer mom's...

I may get a used FJ as my winter beater but naw, I am too loyal to real vehicles and that is a good and solid pickup truck! At least with a pickup you can carry a ton of gear off-road including oversize stuff that will not compromise your abilities much off-road or on-road!

Try carrying a 500 lbs. of gear, a canoe, off-road bikes, bridging ladders plus other gear for a long trip with a Jeep. Good luck...

@oxi, that is what meant by the Jeep Wrangler having great off road ability, BUT it is not a great off road vehicle.

All I know is my bridging ladders are 5 feet long and not many Jeeps can place even those on top and those are just ladders...

Jeeps had their days and even the U.S. military does not buy them much, if any anymore!

They want vehicles with speed and mobility (independent suspensions!) and vehicles that can carry cargo and hold weight for armor and yes even crew comfort that only independent suspensions can provide!

"The FJ is not priced as an entry-level high school kid can buy one type of vehicle as the Jeep is...

Most that buy an FJ are middle to upper middle class and well educated..."


Sounds to me like that is a direct shot at jeep owners. May I remind you that is because of Jeep that we won WW2 and because of Japan that we fought it in the first place.

The wrangler has a small payload capacity because it sits on a wheelbase of less than 100", is rated as a .25 ton truck, and sits on coil springs for superior articulation. If you want to brag about carrying 300# of gear in the back of a tacoma big whoop i frequently have better than 5000# of various cargos in the back of my Ram 2500 and if thats not enough, i pull about 65,000lbs of farm products cross country. I say once again..
oxi=
Overly
Xtreme
Instigator

"May I remind you that is because of Jeep that we won WW2 and because of Japan that we fought it in the first place."

Jeep did not win anything in WW2!

Soldiers from all allied nations won that war! Soldiers like my grandfather who faught in the 2 Greek divisions under the British 8th Army in North Africa, Siciliy and Italy before returning home to liberate his homeland!

I do not recall Jeep's on the eastern front either. WW2 was predominently faught between Berlin and Moscow and that is where the bulk of German forces were located...

With regards to Japan, we the U.S. instigated a military blockade against Japan to save the Chinese and a blockade is an act of war. We should not have been suprised that they would attack us in retailiation. Do you not read history much?

We egged Japan on and the rest is history...

Bravo, your Ram can carry weight but can you do it off-road and at speed?

With your lack of proper ground clearance and that much weight, you will sink in the soft stuff or break something in the hard stuff off-road...

Just look at modern Marine MTVR tactical trucks and how much ground clearance they have to match their weight and wheel travel with their fully independent axles underneath!

oxi,

Normally I try to ignore you, but being a historian I cannot let your gross butchery of history go uncorrected. First of all, yes, soldiers of all countries won the war, but they had tools to do it with, and If you were an allied soldier, one of those tools was a Jeep. Every one of the allies had them, including the Soviet Union due to lend lease. They were the best utility truck of the time, rugged, light enough to be carried in a cargo plane or glider and fast enough to perform hit and run and reconnaissance missions. They were far superior to any small vehicle the axis fielded.

As for your assertion that most of the war was fought between Berlin and Moscow, and while a great number of battles (many of the epic ones) took place there, I feel that veterans of Normandy, Italy, North Africa and the entire pacific theater would take issue with your statement.

Also, we did not blockade Japan prior to Pearl Harbor, we stopped selling them oil and threatened retaliation if they did not stop their invasion of Japan. In fact the Japanese blockaded mainland china starting in 1937, so I mush ask your question to yourself, read history much?

Finally, I must ask what your obsession with ground clearance is? You are literally the only person I have heard dog on big trucks for "ground clearance". Full size trucks are far from the best all around off road platforms, but there are plenty that do just fine, including mine, which has had very few problems playing in the bottoms of the Canadian river in the panhandle or the mud in central and south Texas.

Is oxi being hypocritical. Here is what he said in September about Jeeps.

"Jeep type vehicles are GREAT off-road. They have short wheelbases, their not as wide and their weight is minimal. So they have the BEST off-road abilities." - oxi

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/09/off-road-test-review-2011-toyota-tacoma-tx-pro.html

@shop cat and others- if you ignore oxis little quips, you don't have to loisten to the silly retorts. His mind is made up as to what works. The fact that an global metric-ton version of a Jeep pick-up would likely have more in common with a J8 is just too much to discuss. I'm not sure what "at speed" means to him, as when I haul stuff off road, I go slow enough to make sure the s__t is still in one piece when it gets there. Since it isn't a Toyota, he'd be hard pressed to figure out the best out-of-the-box vehicle to haul stuff off road.
@Robert Ryan- Jeep reliability (JK) cant be any worse than a land rover.

I have never seen such an absolute winner of an idea be so over thought. Talk about dithering! Just build the Gladiator truck and watch the profits come in!

I won't buy it until Chrysler solves the death wobble issues and quality problems. My JK has been the biggest turd of a vehicle I have ever owned. It falls apart driving it to work, let alone take it off road..

Years ago dodge made a power wagon concept. Dust off the plans and rebadge it a Jeep.

@anders norsman- if they're going to do something retro, this http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/04/military-maneuvers-we-drive-mopars-jeep-nukizer-715.html should be it.

I wish that everyone realize the real truth we're not going to see a Jeep truck anytime soon: corporate politics. In other words, as long as Dodge/Ram says "No, Jeep cannot have a pickup, that's our job," there won't be one available. However, Dodge can take Jeep platforms and offer SUV's (Durango and Nitro). And all we can get is a stupid cab-and-panel "pickup" kit for the Wrangler. Lame.

I know it sounds crazy, but the truth is no matter who's in charge at Chrysler (Iacocca, Zetsche/Daimler, Nardelli/Cerberus, or Marchionne/Fiat, or even the UAW for that matter), it's Dodge who's running the show. This really sucks. Nobody has the nerve to tell Dodge to can the crap.

This is exactly why I feel Jeep should be a stand-alone company. Maybe then will its engineers can offer products the public truly wants.

Chryusler and company can just get lost.

I would love to have a Gladiator but if Jeep won't build it I will continue to give Toyota my business, maybe they are afraid they can't go head-to-head with Tacoma?

@MrKnowital agreed, but for extreme off road Toyotas and Nissans are the preferred brands. Still the newer LandRovers have been getting reasonable reviews. Jeep SUV's are more used as TV's for towing Caravans on tarmac and smooth dirt.

@imoore I too used think this will never happen.

But, I am willing to bet that we see the truck with the 2014 model year. I have some information from inside Chrysler that the truck has in fact been green-lighted and 2014 is the year. Also, don't forget Marchione has publicly blessed the project so the people at Ram will just have to live with it. Besides the Dakota has finally been recognized for the dog that it is and production has been halted. It may come back as a "life-style truck" but its days as a serious hauler are done (thank heaven).

So I say look for the Gladiator in 2014!

I think that other word better fits your moniker, oxy--the one that ends with __ron. For instance:
"Try carrying a 500 lbs. of gear, a canoe, off-road bikes, bridging ladders plus other gear for a long trip with a Jeep. Good luck..."
A 2-door Jeep Wrangler can do this easily with a simple, inexpensive, aftermarket gear rack designed to carry over 500 pounds by itself. A version is available for the 4-door Wrangler that then lets you carry all that and more inside as well as 5 people relatively comfortably. I personally know one person who carries a seemingly impossible amount of gear in her 2-door Wrangler.

Like any truck, you're not limited to just what you can carry in the cargo bay; you can add racks to carry bikes on the back along with spare fuel and an off-road jack, you can carry 500# of gear, including oversized ladders, canoes, kayaks, whatever on top and you know what? It's not even impossible to tow an off-road trailer carrying another 500# or more of gear. Just Like A Truck. Unlike those trucks, however, the relatively narrow width and shorter wheelbase lets it get through tighter areas than the typical 4x4 pickup can go.

The Gladiator, by most of what I've read, would be marginally longer than a 4-door Wrangler and I don't mean the wheelbase. Stretch the bed a mere 15" and you've got a cargo area just over 5' long and roughly 4' wide--big enough to carry plywood to build that hunting blind in the woods without having to cut down all those saplings to get to the site.

Ground clearance? My 4-door Wrangler Sahara in factory stock gear (no lift options or add-ons) navigated a #5 Blue trail at Rousch Creek in Pennsylvania with comparative ease and might have managed a #6. That said, the typical first aftermarket mod is a 2" to 4" lift and 35" tires which would have made even a #6 Blue look easy and probably handled most of not all of the Red trails. The Gladiator with the same mods should do just as well.

Look at those big trucks with all that ground clearance you're arguing about. Almost all of them weigh from 3 to 5 tons (that's 6,000 to 10,000 pounds) not even counting their loads. They are grossly expensive to purchase and to operate -- especially those Marine MRAPS you tout so highly. Even the Hummer, capable as it was (not is, since it's no longer being built), is bigger and clumsier than the old Army Jeep, even if it can handle some terrain better. When it comes to operating in a forest, for example, the Hummer has to knock down or go around what the Jeep can squeeze between. It also cost about 5x as much to build. Sometimes old-tech is still superior to new tech.



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