After years of waiting and hoping, Jeep fans will finally see the Wrangler offered as a pickup – possibly as a diesel. Toyota is on notice that the Tacoma better adapt to this new market threat.
The Jeep Wrangler has had an option to add a pickup bed to it, but it was extremely costly and required a lot of labor. A new Jeep Wrangler pickup was recently confirmed by Jeep President Mike Manley at the Geneva Motor Show according to AutoEvolution.com. This new option straight from the factory is really the ideal solution. With competitors leaving the compact truck market over the last few years, it is really ripe for something new to be introduced. A Jeep Wrangler pickup could be a catalyst for speeding up next-gen Toyota Tacoma production.
Also, exciting about the Jeep Wrangler is that it will be most likely be offered with a diesel engine. Chrysler has been seemingly throwing diesel engines into its entire product lineup and there are strong rumors that a Jeep Wrangler diesel is a forgone conclusion.
This news culminates in the biggest threat to the Toyota Tacoma’s market share to date. While yes, GM offers the compact truck twins (Canyon and Colorado), they don’t really garner much market share. And there is also the Nissan Frontier that does have a respectable market share and following.
The truth is that many Toyota Tacoma pickup owners either like the smaller size or the off-road capabilities of the truck. The Jeep Wrangler has both of these attributes – true compact size and off-road capability. And it would suit those “I won’t buy foreign customers” who should see the Chrysler-Fiat as not an American-only company, but do.
Another thing this news does is put a cloudy future on the rumors of a Dodge Dakota reintroduction. While GM has had success offering twin vehicles, it is hard to imagine that Chrysler would want the Dodge Dakota competing against the Jeep Wrangler. Yes, there are two different groups of loyal buyers, but still the question looms.
The future success of the Toyota Tacoma is now in question. For years, Toyota has gotten away with minor upgrades. Yet, the news of the Jeep Wrangler pickups, refreshed GM Twins rumored with diesel as well as talk that Ford might build a F-100 is putting a LOT of pressure on them.
With all things, it remains to be seen how much market share these new vehicles will take and how much cost/benefit there will be with diesel. One thing is for sure, Toyota is a long-range planning type of company. We don’t expect changes over night, but you can be sure Toyota is paying attention.