You'll Have to Wait Longer Than Expected for That Wrangler Pickup: Jeep Boss

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
youll have to wait longer than expected for that wrangler pickup jeep boss

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 81 comments
  • FalcoDog FalcoDog on Mar 06, 2017

    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.

  • Paragon Paragon on Mar 11, 2017

    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.

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.