Jeep Pickup Tipped To Be Built Alongside Next-Generation Wrangler
The long-rumored Jeep pickup looks like it’s going to happen as part of a deal that keeps the 2018 Wrangler at the home of the original Jeep.
FCA has reached an agreement to keep producing the Wrangler at the Toledo Complex in Ohio, according to sources with Automotive news, which reported the news Tuesday. Part of the deal sends the Jeep Cherokee, which has been produced in Toledo since 2013, will be moved out. However, Cherokee output will be at least partly replaced by a Wrangler-based pickup due to launch shortly after the redesigned Wrangler.
The Jeep pickup, which has been rumored over the last decade and high on the wish lists of brand executives, was absent from a product presentation given last week in Las Vegas to FCA dealers. But the Wrangler-based truck should be sized close to models such as the Chevrolet Colorado, and use the same powertrains as the Wrangler, such as the Pentastar V6 and a new diesel option.
CEO Sergio Marchionne has been in talks for nearly a year with the United Auto Workers to negotiate keeping Wrangler production at the Toledo plant, which was established in 1910 by Willys-Overland and has assembled Jeeps since they were introduced in the 1940s. Chrysler has operated it since taking control of Jeep in 1987.
Cherokee production will shift in 2017 to either a Michigan plant making the Chrysler 200 or an Illinois one making the Dodge Dart, according to Automotive News.
The deal is part of a step in solving some of Jeep’s supply problems, which have threatened to slow sales momentum of the hot-selling and profitable Wrangler not just in the U.S., but globally. And FCA may now be able to capitalize on the renewed interest in smaller U.S.-made pickup trucks.