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Jeep Diesel, Hybrid Pickup Coming – Forcing Toyota’s Hand?

If the current plan is followed by FCA, the next-generation Jeep Wrangler will be offered not only as a pickup, but also with a diesel and hybrid powertrain. This would leave Toyota as the only mid-size truck manufacture (if Nissan builds the Cummins Frontier concept) without offering any alternative powertrains besides gasoline. Could the market pressure to offer a competitor product finally force Toyota hands?

Jeep Diesel, Hybrid Pickup Coming - Forcing Toyota's Hand?

This Jeep Wrangler concept could be a precursor of what a Jeep truck will look like.

The revelation of a Jeep Wrangler diesel and hybrid powertrain as well as pickup came on an investor conference call. It could quite possibly be the call that shot round the world.

Specifically, FCA’s CFO Richard Palmer said, “Jeep is the bedrock of this business plan,” according to Road and Track. With this emphasis, FCA will look to expand their lineup as well as expanding their Toledo plant.

Along with FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, both men confirmed the Wrangler will be offered soon including the alternative powertrains.

If you are keeping score at home, this truck will join the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon Diesel as being offered with a diesel powertrain.

Then, toss in the very possible Nissan Frontier Cummins powered truck and Toyota will be the only truck maker without a diesel option in the mid-size truck market.

While one could argue Toyota has been smart to be hesitant on offering a diesel engine, especially with the long timeframe for getting your return on investment, customer demand has so far run opposite of that thinking. For reference, the full-size Ram EcoDiesel has been a strong seller and has helped grow that brand. And the Chevy Colorado diesel has won numerous awards like MotorTrend’s truck of the year and is highly regarded by many experts. With the Colorado just now hitting the sales rooms, it is too early to tell how sales are doing. We expect it to sell quite well.

The Toyota Tacoma has long been the king of the mid-size truck market, yet these new competitors are really ramping up the pressure. The question now is how will Toyota respond.