Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Sunday at the Detroit Auto Show it will invest $1 billion to refit two production plants in Ohio and Michigan to build three new vehicles, including a new Jeep pickup truck. The company says 2,000 new manufacturing jobs will be created.
FCA said the plant in Warren, Michigan, near Detroit, would produce the Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer SUVs. The Toledo, Ohio, factory would produce the 2019 Jeep Wrangler pickup.
The company said the completion date for both plants retooling is 2020.
Adding a pickup truck to the Jeep stable only makes sense, said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc.
“I think this is just going to increase the appeal and give even more utility and usefulness to people. It is going to increase the likability, the sales, and get people excited again,” Sullivan said.
There hasn’t been a Jeep pickup since the Cherokee-based Comanche was discontinued in 1992. However, there has been considerable interest in such a vehicle. A number of aftermarket conversion kits are available to add a truck bed to the current-generation Wrangler, including a $5,500 kit from Mopar, Fiat Chrysler's in-house parts and accessories division.
Details on price and options have not been released yet, but Car & Driver.com speculates the cost will be around $30,000.