By on October 6, 2017

2018-jeep-wrangler-jl-towing-4

Time to eat my words. Two years ago, I said the real reason there’s no Jeep pickup is this: A Jeep and a pickup are the same thing. I was wrong. The JL Wrangler Pickup is apparently a sure thing, although I’ll believe the existence of a two-door version when I see it in showrooms.

Let’s assume for a moment that Jeep will start by selling a four-door Wrangler with a 6.5 foot bed, pretty much like all the mules that have been spotted running around. Where will the volume for this vehicle originate? And how much of that volume will there be?


My prediction, which could easily be just as flawed as my previous one on this subject, says that Jeep will sell 50,000 pickups a year and that the conquests will be:

  • 50 percent Wrangler owners and intenders who would have purchased a four-door Unlimited if the “Scrambler” had not been available.
  • 25 percent Boomer-aged pickup-truck owners looking to downsize without shame.
  • 15 percent Colorado Z71/Raptor/RAM Rebel intenders who want something for the oft-delayed day when they finally make it out to the dunes.
  • 10 percent Zoolander glampers who are currently driving Outbacks.

I should explain the “Zoolander glampers” category. There’s a certain kind of Millennial who exists primarily to babble on social media about all the SUPER OUTDOORSY STUFF he’s doing with the money he got from his trust-fund/tech-job/revenue-saved-by-screwing-his-best-friend-out-of-health-benefits-to-score-points-with-his-website-angel-investor.

These guys love having drum circles in National Parks, carrying four different overcomplicated knives on their person at all times, and rubbing their knuckles on sidewalks so it looks like they’ve been in street fights. The ur-example of the type is a guy on the Internet who calls himself “InexplicablyMild” or something like that and who is basically Derek Zoolander with some carefully cultivated stubble, right up to the self-conscious “Blue Steel” look in every photo. Anyway, these people have managed to make a conspicuous consumption exercise out of all the activities everybody’s farmer uncle did on the weekends by himself, like hunting and hiking. The Subaru Outback used to be standard equipment for these berks but I suspect that a lot of them will move to the Wrangler pickup. It can hold two sweet mountain bikes and a wakeboard!

All of the above is subject to an uncomfortable conflict with reality. The JL Scrambler could end up cannibalizing 250,000 RAM 1500 sales every year. Hard to say. I’m not going to say anything definite. Fool me twice… won’t get fooled again!

[Image: Off-Road.com]

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102 Comments on “QOTD: Whose Lunch Will the Jeep Wrangler Pickup Be Eating?...”


  • avatar

    Tacoma that’s where they will come from outside of FCA. Tacoma fanboys and Wrangler fanboys are very similar demos.

  • avatar
    John R

    “…with some carefully cultivated stubble”

    Hey, carefully manicured beards are in now; do try and keep up.

    Yeah, the Rebel, at least, is going to have a hard time.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “I should explain the “Zoolander glampers” category. There’s a certain kind of Millennial who exists primarily to babble on social media about all the SUPER OUTDOORSY STUFF he’s doing with the money he got from his trust-fund/tech-job/revenue-saved-by-screwing-his-best-friend-out-of-health-benefits-to-score-points-with-his-website-angel-investor.”

    yet ask them to help while you’re elbows-deep in a gut-shot deer, and they’ll turn white and puke.

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    “oft-delayed day when they finally make it out to the dunes”
    “Zoolander glampers”

    Not trying hard to hide your contempt for the outdoor lifestyle!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I think it’s contempt for the faux-outdoor lifestyle.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yes all those guys care about is the optics of their Instagram feeds.

        All of them are currently preparing for “No Shave November”.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Dunno. Is there a “real” outdoor lifestyle? Once your livelihood is basically dependent on modern, i.e. urban society? That kinda makes your hunting just as faux, because though you’re actually being outdoors while eschewing social media, you’re not actually being any less “cultivated” and cognizant about it.

        This doesn’t stop me from chuckling while reading the article of course. Just don’t want to be stupid enough to get on a high horse about it.

        • 0 avatar

          To be honest, having spent a bit of time rustic camping in state and national forest campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula, I’d rather have some millenial folks with a restored 1960s Airstream pulled by a period Chrysler Newport station wagon in an adjacent campsite than people my age or older with a late model class A diesel pusher RV. The hipster glampers aren’t going to run their A/C all night long.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “The hipster glampers aren’t going to run their A/C all night long.”

            Oh yes they will. The airstream will have been modified with some sort of retro-fitted system LOL

            I grew up tent camping, even down in the Outer Banks and Florida Keys for spring break when I was younger. I still try to get out and do some primitive camping when time allows, but these days it seems my wife and I slant towards AirB&B cabins and such. I can just say my wife insists on the amenities, but secretly I quite enjoy being able to take a shower after a hike and go to bed in air conditioned bliss rather than a muggy tent. Once we have kids I want to reverse the trend, build some character and all that.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The x “lifestyle” deserves contempt for all x.

  • avatar
    VoGhost

    “revenue-saved-by-screwing-his-best-friend-out-of-health-benefits-to-score-points-with-his-website-angel-investor”

    Uh, even the most cursory education in business (i.e., the very first day of Business 101) would remind you that one saves COSTS by screwing his best friend out of health benefits, not revenues.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It depends on whether or not your angel investor is handing you a check before or after costs, doesn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGhost

        No.

        Now you are confusing an investment with revenues. Still really different.

        Please stick to cars.

        • 0 avatar
          MrGreenMan

          Perhaps you haven’t worked for a no-income, venture-backed startup lately. I worked for a portfolio company just a little while back as one of the single-digit-number employees; our math guy computed the upside revenue one day and observed that there could never be a return from monetization of the product, so they fired him. The sales VP (who was one of the founders) talked about investment and non-investment revenue. Their customer was the next investor; the users were the commodity sold to the investor.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            This is the same guy who wrote erotic fiction about my wife being 13 years old. He’s not really much for the whole reality thing.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGhost

            Jack,
            If you don’t want to learn the difference between revenues and costs, that’s fine. But, please, don’t confuse me with your brother. We’re nothing alike.

      • 0 avatar
        Brett Woods

        A shill in a shell.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Uh, even the most cursory education in business (i.e., the very first day of Business 101) would remind you that one saves COSTS by screwing his best friend out of health benefits, not revenues.”

      Somebody please explain exactly what that means and how does one accomplish such a, to me impossible, feat.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Nailed it. Pull into a suburban REI parking lot on a weekday and you’ll see a few vehicles in full zombie apocalypse kit.

    • 0 avatar
      pmirp1

      I have to soon help my lady with replacing her RAV-4. I don’t like to get my Grand Cherokee dirty so I have been coaching her about a Taco or a Tumdra or F-150 as I need a truck at times. The idea of a big truck scares her even if I end up driving it mostly. So I think this wrangler truck thing fits the bill and is another good addition to our all American garage. Jeep quality is good as long as you don’t go for too many fancy options or the 9 speed automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Jeep quality is good as long as you don’t go for too many fancy options or the 9 speed automatic.”

        —- I intend to go for the 9-speed automatic as it is nowhere near as bad as people want you to believe. Yes, it does need to learn your driving style but it offers much better low-end torque from the available engine than even a 6-speed. And once it learns your driving habits, up- and down-shifts tend to fall right in where you want them–takes about 3 to 6 months, depending on how much you drive it. Rental cars with the 9-speed never get the chance to learn a single driver’s style.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “And once it learns your driving habits, up- and down-shifts tend to fall right in where you want them–takes about 3 to 6 months, depending on how much you drive it.”

          Is this what the nice man with the slicked back hair at the dealership told you?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, it’s what I’ve experienced for myself over a year of owning one.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            If it took my new car’s transmission multiple months to start working adequately, I’d be pretty mad.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Oh, it worked “adequately” from day one. It works perfectly to my driving style now. Again, the reviewers of the Renegade either simply don’t know how to drive under certain conditions or they expect it to be something it’s not. The car can get up and go despite its weight due to having a much lower first gear than most (advantage of 9 speeds) and to be blunt I don’t care what car you have, there are certain speed ranges with any automatic where you’ve got to force a downshift if you want ‘immediate’ power. It’s on the driver to know their vehicle and know when to take over from the automatic. Because of what I taught it during those first few months, it downshifts much more readily at the slightest demand for more power.

            Oh, and that’s with a car that only gets driven about 3-4 days a week. If you drive every day, it will learn that much sooner.

            Note also that if you have the transmission “Flashed” every few weeks because it’s not driving the way you want it, you’re forcing it every time to start from scratch, making it take that much longer to learn your style. —- Of course, that would work to my advantage because when you finally give up in disgust, I’ll get a practically-new, low-mileage Renegade/Compass/Cherokee/etc. at a steal and have it working perfectly for me in just a few months.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        “I don’t like to get my Grand Cherokee dirty”

        lulz

  • avatar
    arach

    I never got the sense that this is really a jeep.

    I got the sense that this is really a dakota 2.0

    I don’t really know who will buy it though.

    I mean its too small for a real truck driver. Probably won’t get great fuel economy for the small truck buyer. It’ll look jeepy, but probably have moderate functional appeal.

    I know “everyone loves jeep yay” but most jeep buyers are low income and are stretching themselves to buy a traditional jeep. Will they pay a few bucks more for the scrambler?

    I don’t know. I do like it, and I’m excited about it, but I have a hard time really pinpointing the buyers. Very few older people go Jeep, so I don’t know about the 25% old guys who buy it. 50% – or your proposal that 25k/yr cannibalization may be possible, and the brand won’t mind cannibalizing if it leads to higher margins. You may be under-representing the zoolander glamper, although isn’t that pretty much 90% of Jeep buyers anyway?

    I wonder if this will be the only one that gets the diesel.

    One group you missed is the “Practical Jeeper”. I know numerous people who drive a jeep to the boat ramp to pull out their boat, but since the jeep can’t actually tow that much because of the short wheelbase, they have to hitch it to a different vehicle like a van, to transport it.

    That “I need to tow and jeep” person may be your biggest buyer- Boats, UTV drivers, ATV drivers… that may actually be a good sized market.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I never got the sense that this is really a jeep.”

      Jeep has the same problem Harley-Davidson does. their core customers are a self-absorbed group who ignore the diverse range of vehicles their favorite brand used to make, and insist that they can only make the one type of vehicle they like for ever and ever.

      • 0 avatar

        How was H-D’s range of vehicles more diverse years ago than it is now?

        I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure that most vintage Harleys are FL and XL based, Glides and Sportsters (and the Servi Car trike – named so because it was originally marketed to car dealers and service shops to be towed behind cars they were delivering to customers, then unhitched and ridden back to the shop). The FDs they started making in the 1980s were Glides with Sportster front ends.

        Harley’s vehicle range is much wider than it was decades ago.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Ronnie,

          Harley really only has three models* now: Sportster, Softail, and Touring (Dyna was killed off this year.) They just mix and match windshields, bags, wheels, and paint finishes to come up with dozens of “models.” But in the end, they’re pretty much all just cruisers, all the same type of bike. And their problem is that their core customer sneers at anything which isn’t a Big Twin with bags as “not a real Harley.” Sportsters are derided as “girls’ bikes.” Everything they’ve tried in recent history which wasn’t an air-cooled Big Twin has been an afterthought (Street) or outright failure (V-Rod.) And let’s not forget how they mishandled Buell. Heck, the company could probably cruise for another decade even if they canceled everything except the Street Glide.

          On the other hand, back in the day they had bikes like the Veloce (a Standard which was an Aermacchi design,) the XA (boxer twin a la BMW,) the Hummer (another standard, a DKW clone) and the Topper (a scooter.) They actually used to try things other than the FL. But then Easy Rider happened, the Boomers came into money, and anything that wasn’t a chopper or a bagger was “not a Harley.” The company is a victim of its own success.

          * yes, I know about the Street line, but that was designed primarily for India and Asia and the MoCo barely acknowledges it exists in this country.

    • 0 avatar
      pmirp1

      Have yet you looked at pricing for Wranglers and Grand Cherokees? You be surprised at how costly they are. There is a very well off segment that purchases Jeeps

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “most jeep buyers are low income and are stretching themselves to buy a traditional jeep… Very few older people go Jeep”
      Do you have any data on the demographics of Jeep buyers?

      I don’t, but my sense is the Wrangler is one of those vehicles, like the Miata, which has an enthusiastic following across a wide range of income levels and ages.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        I do have the data to back it up, but I probably should have worded it better when I said “Most”. I should instead of said there’s a disproportionate ratio of low income buyers stretching themselves to buy a traditional jeep”, and of that group, few are older. Saying “most” is tricky because “low income” and “stretching” themselves have no clear definitions. For example, is $40k/yr low income? certainly not, but is $40/k a year and buying a $50k car “low income and stretching themselves”? I’d say yes.

        So if a $30k/yr person buys a $15k Kia, I’d say “low income and stretching”. which would also suggest to me $50k (close to the mean for a Wrangler) spends $33 k (close to the mean for a wrangler sale), is right on the tipping point for “low income and stretching”. not that 50k is low income, but that 50k on a 33k car is probably a little debt-heavy.

        But this gets us into statistics-hell. See the problem is that we are talking MEANs, and two things happen that cause a problem- Low income buyers tend to pay MORE for the same car, and often buy more options and have a lower credit score. So while the loaded rubicons are typically being bought by higher income individuals, some of the mid-grade Freedoms and whatnot are being bought by low income individuals, AND they are paying more than the 33k mean coming in closer to $36k.

        There are few high income individuals buying Kia Fortes… but those high income individuals buying Jeep Wranglers are skewing the averages to a level that essentially creates misinterpretation in comparisons. If the average is $50k, and one buyer makes $200k, then that means SIX buyers are making only $25k/yr to balance out that ONE buyer that makes $200k. Therefore the fact that Wranglers have a fair amount of wealthier buyers buying them shows you how many low income buyers are also buying them.

        So the bigger concern comes in when you talk about the lower 30th percentile which has an income of $32k, and is buying $36k transaction-priced vehicles. To pay for it, they are more likely than other buyers to take on long-term loans of 72-84 months. Fortunately residuals stay strong on Jeeps, because if they didn’t, many of these buyers would be in trouble.

        I don’t say it in any derogatory sense of the word, I’m a professor and statistician for that auto industry so sometimes state facts in was that may accidentally come off as judgmental.

        What catches my attention on wranglers is the number of buyers with an extremely high debt-to-income ratio. A much higher percentage of wrangler buyers are buying a car higher than, or within 25% their income than any other brand I’ve seen.

        Last time I investigated it, Chrysler and Kia were neck-in-neck for lowest average credit scores, but the neglected piece of that research was the actual purchase price of the vehicles. The debt to income ratio of the bottom quartile of jeep buyers is higher than any other brand due to the higher prices and transaction prices.

        FCA has actively worked hard to court subprime buyers, so that shouldn’t come to be a major surprise. For those who aren’t completely familiar with it, google the Banco Santander SA and Fiat Chrysler Partnership. Santander has been involved with some court cases for not vetting applications, and 10 out of 11 applications possess falsely inflated income data. In the subprime space and this is the source of a lot of FCA business. In addition, FCA dealers are offering cash incentives on cars for subprime buyers. (If someone said this to me I’d tell them they are making stuff up, so here’s some support for it: Google “low credit score rebate jeep” without quotes. See how many dealers are offering it? Now try to same with Ford or similar, conveniently none are…)

        I too am a Jeep Wrangler Owner, for what it is worth! I appreciate the Wrangler. There are many owners who are in great financial shape, but there is a disproportionately high number of people that unfortunately are not.

        I don’t know if the low income group, which makes up a sizeable chunk of the jeep community even if “Most” is not a fair description, would go for the Jeep pickup like they do for the Ram 1500.

        • 0 avatar
          shane_the_ee

          Have you considered how many Jeeps are purchased by recent college grads who’s debt-to-income ratios are skewed by student loans and who’s income can be safely expected to grow over the life of the loan? It’s one thing to be a freshly-minted business/finance grad making $35-40k and a 40 year old office assistant in two income household with a combined $40k income. (The plural of anecdote is not data, but in my experience Jeep gets more of the former and Kia the latter.)

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        That quote about low income, etc made me pause too. Sorry OP, I don’t know where you live and what drives your optics but that is not what I see. I see a pretty broad demographic in jeeps personally. And a lot of 40 somethings in Rubicons.

        As far as who these will sell to, I think this is being overthought and it’s pretty obvious:

        a) People who kind of want a mid-size but would buy a full size anyway because you get ‘more’ for the same price (define ‘more’ yourself, you know what I’m talking about). Jeep has ‘more’ in the emotional category- which counts for pick ups.

        b) People who wanted jeeps but decided a truck fit their lifestyle better.

        I think the zoolander crowd would have looked at a jeep anyway so who knows if they’ll pick this one over a regular 4 door or 2 door. Just one more option I guess.

        My thinking may be skewed because I live in a very low population state with tons of accessible outdoors, but I’m almost 50 and I’d consider one. Strongly consider one in fact.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          The biggest problem with Wranglers in “low population states with lots of accessible outdoors,” is that those tend to be states with lots of open roads(aside from Alaska) and comparatively light speed enforcement. Those thin walled, live axle boxes called Wranglers, are a disaster at any sort of sustained speed.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            … above 70mph.

            Then again, they were never MEANT for speeds above 70mph, either. Need a different material for those hood latches if you do because at 75 it starts bouncing around and stretching those rubber ones.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Arach:

      First off, I did read your later statement concerning the financial wherewithal of car buyers in general. I choose not to address that statement. Rather, I have to somewhat disagree with your arguments here for several reasons.

      • I mean its too small for a real truck driver. Probably won’t get great fuel economy for the small truck buyer. It’ll look jeepy, but probably have moderate functional appeal.
      —- What is a “real truck driver”? Honestly, it is NOT the people who like to make that claim. A “real truck driver” buys what is needed for the task and maybe a little more. They USE that vehicle for that task and it tends to show that use in many ways. Most people buying trucks today are–forgive me this stereotype–poseurs, wanting to look big and tough and patriotic but almost never use the truck for the purpose it is designed.
      —- The Scrambler too small? I don’t think so. While it’s capacities may not be as large as the average full-sized pickup, it’s likely more than enough to meet the average user’s needs and may even be better for some as side-loading such a truck may be easier than any other currently-avaliable model, including the mid-sizers. And if the bed is the type I suspect from the available photos, even carrying 4×8 plywood and/or drywall flat will be both convenient and potentially less damaging as there will be no wheel wells impinging on that load floor. You might lose some overall volume but actual capability won’t be that much reduced since loading and unloading will be more convenient.
      —- Fuel economy? That depends on engine choice and how it’s driven. I see the potential for economy no worse than any other mid-size, though its shape will affect highway mileage a bit more. There are ways to alleviate that issue, however, and retain full functionality, especially if the bed design is what I expect.

      • Very few older people go Jeep, so I don’t know about the 25% old guys who buy it. 50% – or your proposal that 25k/yr cannibalization may be possible, and the brand won’t mind cannibalizing if it leads to higher margins. You may be under-representing the zoolander glamper, although isn’t that pretty much 90% of Jeep buyers anyway?
      —- Here you’re a bit of hit and miss. I’m an “older guy” and this thing intrigues me as much as it does you; I honestly wanted to see the original ’05 Gladiator concept become a real vehicle and I owned a JKU from ’07 through ’16, a full 9 years with the reason for trading down being that the wife needed an AWD with automatic for work and she couldn’t drive a stick. I traded the JKU and a Fiat 500 (her daily car) for a 4×4 Renegade and kept my (inherited) 20-year-old Ranger pickup. Said pickup is not 4×4 so when foul weather comes, hers is the vehicle I typically drive when she’s not using it. (Said pickup is also stick, so she couldn’t drive it either to let me keep the JKU.)
      —- Wrangler/Pickup owners tend to be an extremely broad variety of people. Women and men both like the Wrangler for similar reasons (surprise!) and span nearly every age group. Just recently I watched a YouTube video of a man taking his grandson out rock-crawling in his highly-customized Jeep. So stereotypes for Jeepers tend to be difficult to pin down.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        @Vulpine

        I have no intention to disagree with your points. I think the reason I enjoy this so much- and enjoy talking about this so much- is exactly what is being discussed, its such a unique market offering, I highly doubt anyone can truly pinpoint an accurate forecast. Its all dreaming and guessing based on niblits of facts

        Its easy to go down a rabbit hole of rationalization, and I’m guilty of that more often than I am not.. You are right that there are so many different demographics buying Jeeps and trucks that its hard pressed to determine who will buy this.

        When I said “Real Truck Driver” I was referring to commercial truck sales- landscape companies, snow plows, and machinery haulers. I think this truck will primarily appeal to residential buyers, and won’t see a lot of commercial vehicle traffic. Bad use of words. When you say “average users needs,” I think that’s true for the residential buyer, but not fleet sales. Companies like Ford count on about 35% of their truck sales going to fleet buyers, and I don’t think the Jeep can count on that. FCA has made big inroads in investing towards fleet customers with their RAM line.

        I will admittedly reel back my own arguments and would like to reposition them as “more things to think about” than actually disagreeing with any point. I have little basis to actually make disagreements, but rather I’m overly intrigued.

        Is this a Chevy SS? Niche and loved but not sold? Or is this the next Jeep Wrangler, creating and owning its own market segment? Is this the next SSR, a cool truck that really meets few peoples needs, or the next CUV- balancing the REAL needs of buyers and building up a whole new segment around it? I have a lot of guesses and very little to support any real guesses and forecasts.

        And thats one of the things that REALLY excites me about this. There’s no way that FCA is confident in it’s market success, and with so many manufacturers “Playing it safe”, I think thats awesome.

        When I suggested this wasn’t really a “Jeep” what I intended to convey is I think FCA realized they needed to bring a small midsize truck to market. Dodge Dakota is the logical response, but it doesn’t fit in dodge anymore. They could put it under the RAM brand, that would probably be the way most people would do it- but instead they put it on the Jeep Brand, which is where I’m intrigued

        I really believe this is more of “Where FCA decided to put their midsize truck” than “A brand expansion of the Jeep alone”, and that will be very interesting to role out.

        It is true that jeep attracts women- 28% in fact.
        It is true that jeeps attract subprime buyers.
        It is true that jeep attracts wealthy buyers.
        It is true that jeep attracts rural buyers.
        It is true that jeep attracts urban buyers.

        I can’t think of any other brand or model that has that wide of a market! Maybe this is further specialization, as now that the jeep brand is expanding so large it makes sense to make more subproducts.

        I try to think if this is a car I want… I own a Pickup truck, and I own a Jeep Wrangler. It won’t offroad well because its too long, can’t haul as much because its a bit small, and its likely going to be more expensive than competitive offerings so that knocks out practical buying. Fuel economy will likely be lower than competitors… But how much of those issues are really underlying other people’s decisions? I don’t know. For the person who needs to haul a boat, wants a truck, but dreams of a jeep? Or is it just a cross competitor for the Colorado, Canyon, and Taco?

        My eyes are peeled, I’m reading everyone’s thoughts, and in my book its kind of like betting on a horse. We are all researching legitimate data, but we are putting in guesses, not forecasts, because all are valid and no one can see the future! I wish I had more confidence in this outcome but I’m excited for it.

        Thanks for the thoughts. I look forward to reading more.

        • 0 avatar
          PenguinBoy

          @arach – Thank you for your well reasoned, informed, and well presented replies.

          “I can’t think of any other brand or model that has that wide of a market!”
          Again, with no hard data to back me up, I think a few other FCA products appeal to a broad demographic: You see their performance cars, Grand Cherokee, and to some extent pickups in front of million dollar houses, and in the trailer park. At one point, I would have put the minivans in the same category, but the upper middle class soccer mom that would have bought a Town & Country LXi in 1996 is probably rolling in an Oddessy or Sienna today.

          A couple of other products that seem to have broad appeal are the Miata (as mentioned previously) and pretty much all pickup trucks.

          FCA is particularly weird, because some of their products seem to attract well off buyers (especially if you include the Italian exotics), but other products seem to attract the same demographic as Kia and Nissan. For some reason, the longitudinal engine products tend to have broad appeal, and the transverse engine products tend to go to the subprime customers…

          • 0 avatar
            arach

            @Penguin:

            I concur that FCA is interesting from that regard. Stereotypes and assumptions be darned, I can think of at least 1 person in almost any demographic that has each of the FCA brand products (although Chrysler itself seems to be shifting towards a smaller demographic group as of late). Can’t say the same about a lot of other brands (although an argument could be made about a handful)

            @Vulpine/Penguin:

            Thanks for the good thoughts and perspectives. I look forward to bringing these back up once details are actually released. In the mean time, grab some popcorn!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’ll agree with Penguin that your response is well reasoned and I have no argument with it. My personal feeling is that it’s going to be more popular than some want to believe simply because it’s a compromise of what’s popular in so many different vehicles, taking the “best” of each (or perhaps the worst, depending on viewpoint.)

          I for one think the smaller bed, if it is a true ‘step-side’ style, will be a huge advantage for some as it will be notably easier to load, unload and clean. If it is also at least 4’2″ wide, then even if you have to drop the tailgate, hauling a 4×8 sheet of construction material will be simple and reasonably safe while the wheelbase will not be as long as the typical full-sized pickup, making it capable of true off-road enjoyment even if not quite as short as the JKU itself.

          One thing that hasn’t been mentioned here as yet is the engine and transmission choices. The JK/Wrangler sites of which I’m still a member are all over the news that the JL’s engine choices will at a minimum include a 368hp twin-turbo four and a 285 V6, probably the latest-generation Pentastar. I don’t doubt the Scrambler will include those engines. The automatic was claimed by one site to still be the 6-speed but others are suggesting the four might include the 9-speed as an option (or maybe the diesel as there is still some suggestion of a 4-cyl diesel option.) I have no qualms going 9-speed as I’m quite surprised and happy with the 9-speed in my wife’s Renegade (despite reviewers to the contrary.)

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “What is a “real truck driver”?

        To me, it’s the guys that have a place to fly their huge American flags on the backs of their trucks and drive around town reminding everyone they know what country they live in.

        Idiots all.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      It’s basically the resurrection of the Explorer Sport Trac, no? There were waiting lists for that when they still made it.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Explorer_Sport_Trac

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        In a word, baconator, No. Take another look at the Sport Trac and look at the photos of the Jeep. The Jeep is a true pickup in design, up to and including the extended frame to fit a 5′ plus-length bed. And so-called spy shots have shown this truck doing its thing in several different environments.

        Admittedly we don’t have all the details yet but what we have says it’s more than just a repeat of a failed design.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ve never seen a Zoolander Glamper in an Outback. They seem to prefer the Xterra, 4Runner, and late model Land Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Ever been to a Jackson Hole trailhead in peak bucketlist checkoff season? Plenty of Subies, along with the makes you mention, carrying carbon fiber hiking poles scientifically designed in California (but made in China) to serve dual role as a selfie sticks to document your adventures.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        “…. carbon fiber hiking poles scientifically designed in California (but made in China) to serve dual role as a selfie sticks to document your adventures.”

        I HATE those things. I trail run at a local preserve, and those friggin’ things have become ubiquitous (‘monkey see, monkey do’). Many parts of the trail are 2 lanes or less and, of course, the ‘pole hikers’ have to hold them with outstretched arms so they block nearly the whole trail, but they become really indignant should you bump into them. Then, on the downhill portions they carry them so that the tips swing back-and-forth behind them, right at nut sack height.

        I see some older hikers struggling up the trail using them, so they get cut some slack, but young, healthy hikers don’t need them. And, if you are packing a heavy pack a staff works better anyway, leaving an arm free to catch or brace yourself (and cushion a fall).

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I used a set to get to Delicate Arch a month or so after having screws put in my broken leg. At the time I was pathetically grateful for them.

        • 0 avatar
          mrwiizrd

          “young, healthy hikers don’t need them. And, if you are packing a heavy pack a staff works better anyway, leaving an arm free to catch or brace yourself (and cushion a fall).”

          Ummm, no, that’s complete nonsense. Andrew Skurka, probably the greatest and most experienced backpacker of all time, advocates using trekking poles because they save knees and serve many other useful purposes. He’s forgotten more about backpacking than most people will learn in a lifetime.

          I used to have a similar attitude about trekking poles, but Skurka changed my mind and once I started using them I’ve never looked back. They work and work well, and I could care less if I look like a wanker.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Carguy was talking about a trail where he regularly goes running…… As in, a few miles at most from a parking lot… If you “need” trekking poles for that, you’re pretty much by definition not “healthy,” no matter what some greatest Derek Zoolander of all time, may have posted on Facebook.

            It’s not as if trekking poles by themselves are useless for all things. If you have a big enough pack, are hiking far enough, are hunting big game you may need to pack out on foot, or have enough screws in your leg, they make all the sense in the world. But at least as I read it, this post was about Zoolander Glampers, whose main defining characteristic is being quite comically overgeared for what is really just day to day going for a walk in the woods.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Andrew Skurka, probably the greatest and most experienced backpacker of all time,”

            that ranks up near “World Champion Watermelon Seed Spitter” in its significance, as far as I’m concerned.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “but they become really indignant should you bump into them.”

          I hate people like that who think they’re the only people in the world who matter.

          makes me wish someone could invent a truly effective Total Perspective Vortex.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    I want one, but my partner already has a Ram 1500, so the need for another pickup is very low, especially a short bed.

  • avatar
    VoGhost

    You forgot:
    – 10% sorority sisters with latest and most fashionable yeti coolers to ‘haul’
    – 10% guys in their fifties who miss Hummers (this won’t help)
    – 10% high school juniors in upper middle income school districts
    – 10% bump stock crowd

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    Going to see a lot of these roaming the suburbs as the “I’m still rough and outdoorsy” pick of many fathers on their way to a white collar job.

    As far as who’s lunch this eats; I’ll bet mostly trucks and mild off-roaders outside of the traditional big three. My logic being those buyers have more of a loyalty to their brand, while those in a Tacoma or similar don’t have as deep roots. Not sure if the FJ Cruiser is still made but this looks like a new home for those shoppers. Same for buyers of Pathfinders and other more “hardcore” SUVs.

  • avatar
    brakeless

    If Jeep does it right, they could have the best “compact” 4WD “pickup” on the market. There is nothing else like it. The base price needs to undercut every other 4WD truck out there by a large margin. Aim across the entire market: from buyers that need value and utility, to buyers that want to hop curbs at the mall in style.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      That’s a good point. There is really nothing that has replaced the Toyota Hilux 4X4. Its off-road capabilities were legendary.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Whats interesting is your thought that, “The base price needs to undercut every other 4WD truck out there by a large margin”.

      I would bet money that this will be the most expensive 4WD truck in the market.

      If my assumption is WRONG, then this could be a huge success, but I anticipate this as being margin expansion on the wrangler line into higher transaction costs. If they are working for higher transaction costs, and most jeeps today sell in the mid 30s, I think they are targeting the 40s with this truck.

      I have no facts to back up this opinion though.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Actually, Arach, there’s enough news out that the Sport 4×4 version will start around $33K, which is $6K more than the Nissan Frontier 4×4 King Cab S, which is the cheapest 4×4 pickup on the market right now, of which I’m aware.

  • avatar
    Dan

    An even more poser-tastic Wrangler will mostly cannibalize other Wranglers of course. 50% is probably on the low end. The most immediately adjacent target, the downmarket attention whore truck buyer, already has Ram written on him in 16″ high plastichrome tailgate lettering and FCA makes that too.

    A few other half tons around the edges. A few Colorados and Tacomas. Three 4Runners.

    All that said, this can’t have cost much to develop. At least a little of its market will come outside of eating its own.

    And even where it is eating its own, it should be just as profitable as a low end Ram and selling a Wrangler intender a bigger and more expensive Wrangler isn’t the worst thing in the world for FCA either.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    As a JK owner I was a little miffed when I saw all the stereotype-indulging going on here. Heck I even fit a few of them. But I am guilty of the same when it comes to BMWs, Harleys, CUVs, etc.

    Given the fact that this Jeep has been the most enjoyable vehicle I have ever owned, I will look very hard at the pickup. And not to replace the Wrangler either.

    • 0 avatar
      pmirp1

      Jack likes to stereotype popular American vehicles. I have been on him for his Corvette stereotypes he uses and he is only now beginning to tone it down. See he doesn’t stereotype Lotus or Porsche or chick car Miatas much though.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Aren’t stereotypes fun? Annoying, but also fun.

      I like driving different brands because I like to live the stereotypes… and I do to a fault.

      My joke is that I have a “I hate liberals” on my pickup truck and “I hate conservatives” on my prius.

      But if I’m in a BMW- sure I’ll cut over at the last minute and will skip the turn signal. And When I’m in a hyundai, sure I’ll set cruise control for the speed limit and ride the right lane. In a cadillac I wear a suit and listen to modern christian music, and when I’m in my truck I listen to country music and wear a cowboy hat.

      Doesn’t make it any OK, but it is kind of fun.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    It’s not that Zoolander glampers don’t exist at all (you’ve described them to a tee) or that the Jeep pickup isn’t a great fit for their self-image, but there just aren’t that many of them (they have a high social media profile so there seem to be more than there really are). So 10% is a vast overestimate. For most people in the urban millennial demographic, “pickup truck” is radioactive. SUV, CUVs – no problem but pickup trucks – no way.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I don’t think it’s the pickup part that’s toxic to urban millenials, just any signifiers of the small towns they frequently escaped from. Full-size trucks are absolutely toxic, but at least the Wrangler is a little further removed from what their former high school classmates are now driving. If Jeep really wanted their dollars though, they’d offer a Singer-style variant, backdated to CJ-era detailing (or something in the style of an FSJ).

      That said, this is also a demographic who’s still dealing with student loans, skyrocketing rents, and no where to park, so actual spent dollars on new vehicles don’t amount to much.

  • avatar

    I know why Jeep is only releasing a 4dr model of the pickup. But I am certainly holding out hope that the aftermarket will release a conversion to make the vehicle into a 2dr with an 8ft bed.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    The big question:

    Will it tow?

    I think the current JK tops out at 3500 pounds. That’s not enough for people that actually use pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Not everyone who “actually use pickups” use them for towing. Why have an open bed if you’re going to put all your load on a trailer? Have you ever seen how ridiculous that looks?

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        If you tow a big, heavy trailer, the 8 foot bed is mainly there for the stability afforded by the long wheelbase. Or, if you tow an even bigger, heavier trailer, for a place to fit the 5th wheel or gooseneck.

        Buying a Jeep for towing strikes me as weird, though. Stability under load and articulation offroad, are pretty much opposites as far as suspension tuning goes. Towing a smaller trailer on occasion needs to be part of the repertoire of any truck, but if the main purpose of the vehicle is to tow, have the decency to pick a Ram over a Jeep.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Rarely… VERY rarely… do I see a long-bed pickup pulling a trailer that is not a utility-type. A 6′ bed (5.5′-6.5′) is more than enough bed for a fifth-wheel or gooseneck, though I’ve seen fifth-wheels towed with the short bed versions (and watch comedy YouTubes as they crunch the corners of cab and trailer trying to jack-knife the trailer into a tight parking spot.) By no means is an 8′ bed necessary for towing and the wheelbase of the crew-cab 6′-bed models is the same as a standard-cab 8′-bed version.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Many things are darned nice, despite not being strictly necessary. It’s hard to compare directly, since long bed trucks tend to be either HDs, or beefed up half tons, but any added wheelbase you can get, is a noticeable boon when towing a big, say 12+K, high windage, camper in crosswinds or on twisty, bumpy roads. Dual rear wheels makes a huge difference too, and I don’t think you can even get those in short bed trucks.

            Of course, 12+K campers behind diesel dullys have exactly nothing to do with a midsize Jeep pickup :) But if Jeep stays true to their offroad focused form, they are highly unlikely to set the pickup up for maximum towing efficiency. Even the much bigger Power Wagon, is an awkward tower at highway speeds. Fanta-effing-tastic for towing offroad (Towing Derek Zoolander’s personal “offroad camper”….), but all that articulation requires much more attention to hitch setup and smooth driving than a regular 2500 with a big Cummins and an 8 foot bed on road. Even on dirt roads.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Aye, stuki, you’re right; a Jeep Wrangler-based pickup will never be built to tow one of those thirty-foot-long, twelve thousand pound campers. I will probably also never be used for commercial towing of revenue loads like car haulers or box vans, outside of sport types for taking their race jeep out to the desert or something of that sort. As such, it simply has no need to go to the ridiculous lengths For, GM, Ram and others do to claim greatest load capacity or heaviest towing.

            Ridiculous? Yes. The loads full-sized trucks pull today tend to run two full classes beyond what they used to pull. At one time, a half-ton truck would pull no more than 5000#. Now they claim up to twice that. The Class 3 heavy duties are towing loads once reserved for the Class 4 and up, which required a CDL to even drive one. Sure, you still need the CDL to tow that load but that hasn’t stopped some people from stretching their privileges and towing more than they’re really capable simply because their truck can do it. There’s a reason I call today’s full-sized trucks Road Whales™. They’re simply too much truck for today’s average driver and the number of single-vehicle crashes and fatalities we see with these trucks pretty well proves it.

            As an example, a ‘local’ car theft ring used a full-sized truck as their transport and getaway vehicle two and from the crime scene. They finally got pegged by State troopers and tried to out run them in that truck. The took a turn too fast and rolled, killing all aboard but the driver.
            Worse, a few years ago in north Georgia, some high-school kids just out of school for the day were riding a full-sized truck down a two-lane road–obviously at excessive speed. They swerved to pass a slower-moving vehicle and when the driver tried to return to the right lane, oversteered and sent the truck rolling… right over a man mowing his lawn, killing him and again, all but the driver of the truck itself.

            No, people are buying big trucks for status now, far more than they are buying them for “real work.” And yes, these Jeeps will be the same way to a large extent. But at least these particular Jeeps will offer REAL practicality as well as being a functional, if not perfect, off-road sport truck compared to the 4×4 Road Whales™ that can hardly maneuver in the woods and need pretty much open trails to be capable as an off-road vehicle. Out on the plains? Fine. In the desert? Fine. Full sized works well out there. But when it comes to woods and certain other tight circumstances, they’re simply too big to maneuver. The Scrambler may not be perfect, but it will be more capable than the others.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            :)

            I would ted to agree things has gotten a wee bit ridiculous. I think the original catalyst, was the invention of slideouts on travel trailers. Combined with home-equity-in-their-McMansion flush baby boomers retiring, and wanting to “see America,” but without downsizing from their 8000sqft house. Slideouts make trailers look soooooo much more spacious and “comfortable” at the RV shows, but make the trailers themselves mobile only when hooked to ever sillier tow vehicles. etc.

            Then the commercial towers, hot shotters, farmers etc., noticed low mileage pickups were a good deal; putting a pretty high floor under the depreciation of the big diesels; making them a fairly risk free proposition for the Camper McMansion curious.

            Who, naturally once their new truck has even more torque and an even higher tow rating, wants even more “comforts” in their trailers. Like, “Honey look! Now we can get an even longer one, with a full two car garage in the back for the Corvette and the two Harleys. Without having to give up the hot tub!”

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This is my only interest in such a vehicle – towing. At some point I will have to replace my ’02 V8 Dakota Quad Cab SLT. The GM twins seem a little oversized but the available of diesel makes them attractive. My boat is small and doesn’t weight much (under 2,500lb) but I’ve found when it comes to tow ratings it better to have too much then not enough. In the future I might tow a track car so having a 3,5000lb capacity would be more applicable. I had a 4.0l V6 Ranger and moving to a 4.7l V8 Dakota was day and night in terms of towing even in the flat lands of FL.

      4WD isn’t a requirement, I’ve managed boat ramps for nearly 20 years with 2WD only with just one or two times when I felt I could have used the extra wheels turning.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      The only reason the current jeeps towing is so bad is because of the wheelbase. This should solve it. I know numerous people who use even short wheelbase jeeps to pull large boats out of water at our boat ramp, but then move the boat to another tow vehicle.

      So I anticipate this should come in with a healthy tow rating. Probably not segment leading or full size truck worthy, but I speculate that towing could be a major reason why this car is even being built.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Whose lunch does an 800 lb gorilla eat?

    Anyone’s he wants.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Chrysler product….. no thanks.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Ok, disregarding the take-up numbers for a moment, I do believe Jeep is long overdue for this type of rig. What I don’t agree with is the preponderance of crew-cab versions, especially when we’re looking at this thing.

    Yes, I owned a JKU and yes, I used it as a pickup truck, up to a point. In one way it was far more than I needed and in another way far less. Most of its life saw the rear seats folded (and I didn’t like that they wouldn’t fold flat, like the 2-door version’s “flip and tumble” seats.) For nine years, that was the family’s daily driver, ‘family’ in this case meaning me, the wife and a dog. I simply didn’t need the second row 99% of the time and temporary seating for two small passengers (one an adult) could have been handled easily by transverse jump seats the remaining 1% and less.

    Obviously then, I desire an effective 4×4 pickup that’s not gigantic in size. Moreover, I simply do no LIKE the available mid-sized pickups currently available as they, too, are larger than I like and with the exception of the Chevy are simply too ugly to consider. The Honda option doesn’t look bad but it combines the width of a full size with the lower stance of an SUV, making it both a problem due to size and a consideration due to its more practical design. That said, the Scrambler in some ways will also be too large but an extended cab version would be “acceptable.”

    I’m sorely tempted to get this but I still want something more conveniently smaller in width and height.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It sounds like you need a Ranchero or El Camino – or a 1950s 2 door pickup. The beauty of them is that you could get away alone to the hardware store or lumber yard and tell the wife, “sorry, can’t take the mother-in-law or kids – no room.”

      So I agree, the 4-door is a mistake that will cannibalize other FCA trucks, since they’re in the same dealership with the Jeeps. Something there is, that doesn’t like a small pickup. I think that something is sales/marketing wanting every base covered with each model.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        As I’ve mentioned before, I need room behind the front seat. While I absolutely love the ’59 Chevrolet El Camino for its style, it still lacks that inside storage capability. I already have a 2-door pickup and guess what… I can’t carry much in that cab either. BUT… Also as I have said before, I simply have no need or desire for a permanent second row, making a obvious four-door truck doubly redundant in seating that flat wastes space that could be used for carrying certain sports gear that really shouldn’t get wet, too hot or too cold (or they’ll break during use.) An extended cab offers what I want with reasonable and not excessive capacity and with certain models the second row of doors are effectively invisible (those half-depth doors made to look like full-sized doors simply look ridiculous to me and are by NO means convenient!

        Is the 4-door a mistake? No. The 4-door Wrangler has been a boon for Jeep and will continue so. But the 2-door Wrangler is still reasonably popular and its 2nd row is clearly not intended for frequent use. As such, an extended-cab style of Scrambler is absolutely possible and would probably be more popular than some want to believe. I do believe a clamshell-style half-door on one side or the other would be more functional than Ram’s front-hinged half doors on its full-sized trucks.

        And talking to an FCA representative today at a local car show, the belief is strong that a truly smaller truck is needed for FCA because of the competition coming from everybody else.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Add one more vote for Tacoma.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    First full year if they get it to market on time they might make that 50K number. However being FCA they will botch the launch it won’t be available until mid year and by the time the second model year is available a good chunk of the inteneders will have theirs. So first year will see maybe 30K, second year 40k and 3rd year 25K.

    The vast majority will be Barbie’s Jeep. 75% of those will be bought by their husband because he wants a Jeep and a pickup but doesn’t want to put up with it as a commuter. 25% of those will be HS and college age girls who’s parents bought it for them.

    Of the remaining 25% that represent conquest buyers I do agree that many will come out of Outbacks, 4 Runners, a few Taco and Frontier customers and the rest from all over the board.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Seeing just how many JKUs have been bought as mom-mobiles in the suburbs (think Explorers back in the 90s), I can see this pickup being MASSIVELY popular in the ‘burbs. Cool/rugged appeal, 4 doors and decent enough road manners for regular on-road users to tolerate, and now add in a bed for home depot hauling and you’ve got a winner. I think this will do some of everything as far as stealing sales: cannibalize some JKU sales, eat into compact trucks, and steal some half-ton sales as well.

    Hell, I know I’ll be test driving one. My beef with the JKU is lack of interior cargo space and the inconvenience of opening the rear hatch compared to a regular hard top SUV. I’d also love to have an open bed again since I sold my Ranger. Stick shift, solid rear axle front and rear, reasonably sized pickup. Sounds too good to be true!

  • avatar
    Weskyvet

    Wish they’d just bring back the J10 – J20 trucks. Pop a hemi in them (5.7 or 6.4 doesn’t really matter) or a Cummins (big one for the 20 and a slightly smaller one for the 10) with a good tough 6 spd manual and all those Rubicon suspension and drive train goodies then sit back and watch them sell. Okay so they probably won’t do that because those would likely make the Rams look bad as far as offroad capability.

  • avatar
    Robert McIntyre

    Pretty sure I will just laugh constantly, keep driving my fully modded 89’Comanche and think about all the money I am saving.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I just read the Users Guide and Owner’s Manual for the 2018 JL Wrangler and the tech in the thing looks amazing. Considering the truck is based on these models, I fully expect it will carry much of the same tech. I can hardly wait to see how they will perform on the road and in the dirt.


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