CHICAGO - Will Jeep get a pickup?
Frank Klegon, the Chrysler group's executive vice president for product development, says enthusiasm at the company remains high for a production version of the Jeep Gladiator concept pickup that debuted at the 2005 Detroit auto show.
"That is pretty hot," Klegon said at the auto show here. "I like the Gladiator. I think it is real cool. That (concept) was built on a product base, it has a platform, and that has a much better chance of seeing the light of day than something that doesn't. It is a pretty interesting execution."
The Gladiator concept was built on the redesigned vehicle platform for the 2007 Jeep Wrangler, Klegon said.
The 2007 Dodge Nitro, a compact SUV that was introduced at the Chicago show, shares its unibody platform with the Jeep Liberty.
But while the Gladiator's stock is high, a convertible version of the four-door Chrysler 300C has lost favor with executives at the company.
"There is a lot of emotional excitement about (the convertible), but it is a very tough business case," Klegon said. "It is reasonably expensive to do, and the longevity of it is questionable."