Jeep CEO doesn’t rule out pickup truck in the future image

Mike Manley, Jeep Chief Operating Officer, talked at the Los Angeles Auto Show about the possibility of producing a Jeep pickup truck in the future.

“If we were doing something like that, for it to be monetized properly, we’d likely partner it with another, equally appropriate, platform,” Manley was quoted as saying by pickuptrucks.com. The most appropriate platform would be Wrangler’s, a model which is scheduled for redesign in 2014 and which has already been turned into a pickup by aftermarket specialist AEV at the 2011 SEMA show.

Manley said in the past that Jeep needs a pickup truck in its U.S. lineup that could also compete in Asian markets, where pickups are focused on more efficient use of payload capability and strong four-cylinder turbo-diesels.

“I wouldn’t want to come to market with anything that wasn’t Jeep capable, no matter where we’d sell it,” Manley said. He added that the Jeep pickup wouldn’t compete with any Ram product. “No matter what we do, it will have to play to our Jeep strengths and be different than anything Ram would do,” he said.

The last time Jeep produced a pickup was in the 1980s and early 1990s, when it sold the Comanche pickup truck, based on original Cherokee. Slow sales and competition from corporate partners Chrysler and Dodge (the Ram) determined Jeep to axe the Comanche in 1992.