Two months ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirmed that the next generation Wrangler will spawn a pickup. No other official announcements related to the exciting new product have been released. But as TTAC reported in October (The Untapped Potential of Wrangler), the move was entirely predictable. And it was made all the more inevitable when the company recently announced its intention to stop developing small cars.
The revelation of a forthcoming Wrangler pickup could have justified a front page New York Times headline. That is how important the new pickup is for the $10 billion company. Investors may not have valued the announcement, as Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s stock price continued its steep decline from $9.20 on December 31st to $5.88 in early February, but Wall Street analysts are not known for their long-term perspective. Regardless, Jeep is a well known bright spot under the sagging FCA umbrella and investing in its record-setting Wrangler nameplate is an action the company needs to take.
How will Jeep execute the Wrangler pickup and what will its real impact be?