It just might deliver the ultimate customizer and upfitter truck when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Jeep Wrangler pickup arrives likely early next year. Jeep engineers say nearly all — 98% — of current Wranglers sold end up with at least one custom or performance part added by their owners, and many no doubt have more.
That's huge user engagement: few if any vehicles can claim such owner-vehicle identification and individualization. And in the work truck and fleet worlds, a Wrangler pickup could mean a significant variety of useful accessory options, with Jeep certainly no stranger to military, on- and off-road response team, utility provider and other fleet use.
FCA announced a $1 billion investment that will, in part, "retool and modernize" the south plant of its Toledo, OH Assembly Complex to accommodate the Wrangler pickup's production. The company expects to unveil the new 2018 model Wrangler later this year and the pickup variant afterward, but the company and Jeep's former owners have been leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to follow and teasing us with a Jeep pickup truck for years.
As FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne put it, "everyone asks about a Wrangler pickup." So what might it look like?
Fleet Owner examines Wrangler and other Jeep pickup cues from FCA as well as pickup options that some determined Wrangler owners with deep enough pockets have been buying for some time now. Also in the last few years, FCA has flirted with tough pickups through concept vehicles — including ones built on Wrangler chassis.