By on March 3, 2017

2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept Vehicle, Image: FCA

With the possible exception of the upcoming Ford Bronco, no automotive product has more Americans feeling giddy with anticipation than the pickup version of Jeep’s beloved Wrangler.

Dreamed of by wistful Jeep aficionados for years, the go-ahead given to the Holy Grail of Jeepdom seemed to signal that yes, your dreams really can come true. Unfortunately, this seems to be a case of “all good things come to those who wait,” because wait you will. Two and a half years, to be exact.

Some of that time will be spent figuring out a name that doesn’t offend people.

According to The Detroit News, Jeep head Mike Manley confirmed production of the Wrangler pickup starting in late 2019. That’s a full two years after next-generation Wranglers start rolling out of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Toledo assembly plant.

Until now, speculation has said that the Wrangler pickup would follow its conventional sibling by about a year. When he confirmed the looming pickup in early 2016, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne claimed it would appear “shortly” after the new Wrangler’s launch. Apparently not.

Still, until now there was no reason to anticipate any undue delay. United Auto Workers Local 12 president Bruce Baumhower said in December that production of current-generation Wranglers would cease in March 2018, after which the assembly line would be converted to handle the upcoming truck. Next-gen Wranglers would commence production in November of this year, he claimed.

FCA clearly wants to take its time crafting a Jeep pickup.

“The key thing for me is to make sure the new Wrangler is fully up and running,” said Manley.

For now, the only potential designs we have to go on are aged — yet drool-worthy — concept vehicles. As for a name, the first Jeep pickup nameplate that comes to mind is the Comanche — a Cherokee-based regular cab built from 1985 to 1992. However, the rise of political correctness might have something to say about that.

While Manley claims the company wants a historic name, no one inside FCA has confirmed whether or not “Comanche” is off the table. One auto industry analyst sure hopes, at least for FCA’s sake, that it is.

Cox Automotive executive analyst Rebecca Lindland told The Detroit News a Native American nameplate just won’t fly in today’s culture.

“The issue they’re going to find with Comanche is, quite frankly, political correctness: Is it going to be seen as offensive,” she said. “The trick with bringing a nameplate back is understanding the current culture when you’re reintroducing this.”

If the company absolutely must have a nod to the past, the Gladiator nameplate — a full-size, Wagoneer-based pickup made from 1962 to 1988 — in another option. The most well-known Wrangler-based truck concept, revealed in late 2004, carried that name.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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81 Comments on “You’ll Have to Wait Longer Than Expected for That Wrangler Pickup: Jeep Boss...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Gladiator, Hercules, Comanchero, Canyonero…

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Those are all strong names, but that’s what’s guaranteed to prompt opposition. Even “Work Truck” would probably cause protests.

      The blandest name would probably be “The Pickup”. In France, call it “Le Pickup”, and in Spanish speaking countries, “El Pickup”.

      In India, Asia, and the Middle East, there would have to be an examination of the scripts used there, in case of unfortunate hidden meanings, but there’s now plenty of time. Sergio took the money for Jeep tooling and gave it to Alfa build a coupe version of the Giulia, and of course a CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Comanche?

    • 0 avatar
      Sticky Icky

      The Refugee…it can go anywhere!

    • 0 avatar
      N2KRWLN

      Political correctness is stupid. Anyone who would take offense at “Comanche” as a nameplate for a rugged “do anything” vehicle needs to just grow up. It’s not offensive, in fact it’s a tribute!

      I would, however, LOVE the Gladiator nameplate on one condition (which will almost certainly not be fulfilled): it HAS to have at least a nod to that iconic gladiator front end (like the fairly recent concept vehicles, such as the “NuKizer,” which IMO is one of their best-ever concept vehicles). And I think most Jeep loyalists will feel the same. Don’t call it a Gladiator unless it LOOKS like a gladiator. Otherwise, meh; call it the JLT for all I care. That’s how it’s going to be commonly referred to anyway.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    So if they name it “Comanche” it might offend Native Americans, so that’s not politically correct. Okay, fine.

    Why is no one worried about offending Gladiators, then??

  • avatar
    heliotropic

    Are Cherokees no longer considered Native Americans?

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      Exactly. How is Comanche any more or less offensive than (Grand) Cherokee?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        It’s no different in real terms.

        What’s different is that the Cherokee has been in continuous production, and so it’s not something new.

        Introducing a new vehicle under a half-forgotten name could easily come across as disrespectful.

        PS. Don’t forget that many actual Native Americans do a lot of four wheeling these days. We want them to buy these vehicles, just like the rest of us.

        • 0 avatar
          N2KRWLN

          So if the PC argument holds any water at all, then shouldn’t we see sales of the (Grand) Cherokee suffering from all those four-wheeling Indians refusing to buy them anymore because the name offends them? This is just dumb. I’m part Choctaw. My late wife was part Cherokee. We grew up in NW Arkansas and NE Oklahoma surrounded by Cherokees. We later lived in SE Oklahoma surrounded by Choctaws. I went to school in Okmulgee, OK, surrounded by Creeks. And with all that heritage and exposure, I don’t know one “native American” who would get their loincloth in a crease over this. The whole question is a non-issue exactly like all the others that the liberals use to keep the American people stirred up and divided. Jeep would be on very solid ground to name the truck a Comanche. Or a Gladiator. Or a J5. If this truck actually turns out to be what they have been saying it’s going to be, it’s going to fill a small niche market of loyal fans anyway. You don’t drive them away because you put a supposedly politically incorrect name on it. They’d drive it even if you called it the “I’manIdiot” (but they’d rip the name badges off of it).

  • avatar
    scott25

    Honcho, please (not that this vehicle interests me in the slightest)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Wranglerero.

  • avatar

    Jeepster and Commando are two historic names that would work.

    How about the Wrangler Willys?

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    The Wrelic.

  • avatar
    silentsod

    I sincerely doubt the majority of the public gives a crap about the name Comanche and it would sell like hotcakes regardless.

    Plus, Cherokee. Hello? It’s not like you named it some generic borderline term like Redskin and it’s a far cry from calling it an actual slur.

  • avatar
    GreginToronto

    Scrambler?

  • avatar
    boxxtronix

    Here’s the deal. FCA will not import the Fait Fullback here.(That would mean a joint venture with Mitsubishi for the US rebadged to a Dodge). The Fait Toro want happen because it’s to small to compete with the other midsize trucks and basically a South American truck.
    Now the Jeep pick is going to show up later after the refresh new Wrangler. How disappointing. FCA vehicle launches are getting late to the market. Everybody else have there ducks in a row. But what will really kill the Jeep pickup is and I will say it over and over. Is that if it’s not family friendly,have modest fuel economy, Quality, and price point it will falter. So if that Ford Ranger is introduced and have all that and more. FCA
    Will take a big hit on that investment.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Supremo Sergio needs to realize spending the dough to get this on the market is way more cost effective than farting around with Alfalfas.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Too late. Sergio has convinced himself that Alfa is the savior of the company, The crown jewel that will make FCA an attractive merger/acquisition for a bigger company that can handle FCA’s accumulated debt load. He still has the (professional) hots for Mary Barra of GM, since he probably thinks (correctly) that she’s the dumbest of the industry leaders.

      He will continue to rob the money makers of development funding to finance his delusion, because it’s his last chance to sell off the company for the Agnelli family. Otherwise, he has to part out the company at a loss of money and prestige for the Fiat founding family.

  • avatar
    lutonmoore

    How about, “Fiat Stud Truck?’. That’ll go over big with all us Carolina Red Necks.

  • avatar
    Commando

    Again, with the Professionally Offended F#@$ing PC’s.
    Have the cajones to call it a Comanche and make America great again.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    You know, it’s really funny how people complain that the bed of Ridgeline is too small, then turn around and proclaim their enthusiasm of JT, which has a much smaller bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      JT meaning “Jeep truck”? If anything, the Jeep truck will have a 6′ bed/extended cab model and a 5′ bed/crew cab model like every other midsize truck, and possibly a 6′ bed/crew cab model (though not as likely).

      People stopped complaining about the 63″ bed on the Ridgeline when they realized it was par for the course for all midsize pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        If it’s based on the Wrangler, it’s a compact with a standard cab and small bed – a rugged Ranger. If/when full sized and mid-sized truck sales falter, a compact Wrangler pickup will be a big seller.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      It wasn’t the small bed, it was the fact that the first gen looked like the aborted offspring of an avalanche and an Aztec.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Wrangler Pickup.

  • avatar
    TraskG

    They could call it a Mohican. The last of them died out in the 1700s, or so I’ve heard.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Would Jeep Pocahontas work?

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    2 1/2 years? Just call it the Jeep Vaporware at this point.

  • avatar
    Michael Haz

    A woman employed by Cox Automotive said what about the Jeep name?

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Don’t know if they’d get sued by Wrangler jeans, but maybe they could call it the Wrancher? For those not in the know, Wranchers are “dress jeans” made out of 100% polyester, allowing you to execute roundhouse kicks with full range of motion.

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    I’m so sick of all this nonsense PC crap already. It’s not like the name is going onto something derogatory. The name HONORS the people, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Completely agree and I wish I could design and have produced my own ideal of an SUV and name it the GILF.

    • 0 avatar
      9Exponent

      Think about how poorly you handle having your manual transmissions and large-displacement engines taken away.

      Given that, try to imagine how you would feel losing something that really mattered.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “I’m so sick of all this nonsense PC crap already. It’s not like the name is going onto something derogatory. The name HONORS the people, IMO”

      You could just ASK them what they think about it.

      You can totally call up the tribal government and ask them for a statement, just like you could with any city or county government office.

      It might make for an interesting article on TTAC. I’m sure they’d love to connect with an audience that actually wants to hear what they have to say.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I didn’t mean to that the tribal governments aren’t sovereign nations.

        I made the comparison to city and county offices because the tribal offices often have the kinda the same number of people working in the building as a city or a county office (though it depends on the tribe – bigger tribes have more employees).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    To answer the title of this article.

    How hard, or how much will it cost to design a “cutaway” cab and extend a chassis to make a pickup?

    Is FCA that broke? If they are expect to see FCA on the market.

    Sergio can sell the business on many Jeep ideas and prototypes.

  • avatar
    WrittenDescription

    Call it the Wrangler Anachronism… by the time it hits, its fuel economy and ergonomics will seem even more dated.

  • avatar
    FalcoDog

    This is would not be a Comanche anyway. The last Comanche was based on the Cherokee. The Scrambler name came from the Rambler so they could call it the Jarger or the Ramster. On second thought, no.

    Just call it, Not Gunna Happen.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Not matter what the “official” name is, it will most likely be spoken of as the Jeep Pickup. The one any only, considering how long the Comanche has been gone. Seeing one of those puppies is a rare sight.

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