Jeep Finally Greenlights Wrangler Pickup Truck as Part of Wrangler Toledo Production Expansion Plan

Sergio Marchionne might be looking for somebody to replace him, but it's time to talk about what the FCA CEO does meanwhile. You know, stuff like preparing us for the Wrangler Pickup Truck we've been expecting for a decade now.
Jeep Gladiator Concept 1 photo
Photo: Jeep
The bed-gifted model is part of a larger expansion plan for the Wrangler family, which will be applied starting from 2017 when the next generation of the iconic offroader will enter production.

The next Wrangler is well into its development cycle and will come to the market as a 2018 model year. The vehicle was reportedly shown at the recent FCA dealers meeting in Las Vegas. The main idea is that Jeep will keep the philosophy of the car. From the body-on-frame architecture to the special styling cues, we expect nothing short of a memorable experience from the newcomer.

The most likely proposal for the pickup truck would be one that would allow the workhorse to compete with the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon, but it's too early to discuss such details.

We'll remind you that last time Jeep was this serious about giving the Wrangler a bed, we ended up with the superb Gladiator concept (pictured above). The year was 2015, with the vehicle being build on a Ram 1500 platform.

For Toledo, it's extra Wrangler, but no more Cherokee

The pickup truck news comes thanks to an announcement made by Marchionne, which talks about a Jeep production shift. According to Automotive News, the CEO plans to expand the Wrangler production in Toledo, the offroader's traditional home, but will move the Cherokee to another production site.

Despite securing and upgrading the Wrangler production, the departure of the Cherokee is still an important loss for Toledo. After all, we are talking about the rugged brand's best-selling machine.

The Toledo plant currently has two assembly lines. There's a body-on-frame one that serves the Wrangler, as well as an unibody line for the Cherokee.

Converting the latter to the ladder chassis construction needed for the next Wrangler would also solve another production issue FCA is dealing with. The move means the company could retool Warren Assembly in Michigan and move the production of the Ram 1500 around instead of pausing it.

As for the Cherokee production, this will be relocated to either the Sterling Heights Assembly in Michigan, or the Belvidere Assembly in Illinois.

While we're at it, we have to mention the sales figures for August are in. And when FCA's growth is driven by Jeep and Ram, you can't expect the company to do anything else than merge the two into a Jeep pickup truck.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Andrei Tutu
Andrei Tutu profile photo

In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories