Jeep weighing Wrangler-based pickup

Jeep is worried that a Wrangler pickup would overlap with the Ram 1500.

Jeep has confirmed that it hasn't ruled out introducing a pickup version of the next-gen Wrangler.

"You know I am a big advocate of a Wrangler pick-up. From my perspective, it fits into the portfolio exactly. Outside of my desire to have it I still have to make sure from an economic perspective it's the right thing to do," explained Jeep CEO Mike Manley on the sidelines of the Detroit Motor Show.

Jeep tested the public's reaction to a Wrangler-based pickup when it introduced a heritage-laced concept called Gladiator (pictured) at the 2005 edition of the Chicago Motor Show and again when it revealed the Wrangler JK-8 concept at the 2012 Moab Easter Safari. The trucks were well received by both the public and the press but executives chose not to build either because they were afraid that a Jeep pickup would steal sales from what was then known as the Dodge Ram.

Manley confirmed that the risk of overlapping with the Ram 1500 is still a major obstacle today. However, building a pickup would allow Jeep to benefit from economies of scale and see a greater return on the investment it is making to build the next Wrangler out of aluminum.

Manley did not reveal when Jeep will decide whether or not to green light the project. If built, it will likely arrive shortly after the next-gen Wrangler makes its debut in 2017.

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