Last month we got word that a new Jeep pickup truck would be added to the brand’s lineup with the introduction of the next-generation Wrangler. Initial reports indicated the new Jeep pickup would be Wrangler based and built alongside the new-generation of the SUV at Jeep’s Toledo, OH assembly plant, however now Australia’s Motoring says the Jeep pickup may not Wrangler based after all.
Motoring’s intel comes from lead Jeep designer Mark Allen. Speaking at the regional Australian launch of the Jeep Renegade, Allen said the inbound Jeep pickup is still in the planning phase and that they haven’t yet decided if it will be Wrangler based or a smaller, ‘lifestyle’ type truck. If it was Wrangler-based it would compete with rivals like the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma in the U.S., while a lifestyle truck that undercuts the mid-size segment isn’t currently offered in America.
Just recently, Fiat pulled the wraps off of its Toro compact pickup truck for the Brazilian market. Based on Fiat-Chrysler’s corporate Small Wide 4×4 architecture that underpins the Jeep Renegade, the Toro can tow up to 2,200 lbs, seat five people with ease and have room for all their stuff and then some in the bed. It’s the definition of a lifestyle type vehicle, and may be a good indication of what Jeep could have in store for its future pickup.
But before Jeep can invest too much time and energy into its pickup truck, it needs to figure out where to build it. Allen said the Toledo, OH plant where the Wrangler is built is already at capacity, so they may have to shuffle some product around in order to make room for the pickup.
“We sell every Wrangler we make, there’s no extra room at the plant, so there’s other issues beyond the vehicle itself. That’s all gotta be sorted out,” Allen said.