DETROIT — Industry-watchers last year seemed convinced that the return of a Wrangler-based pickup to Jeep's lineup would carry the name of the last Wrangler-based vehicle with a bed, the Jeep Scrambler.
But not so fast, says FCA US CEO Sergio Marchionne.
"I don't know the name of the pickup truck," Marchionne said at the auto show here. "That thing usually goes through this mysterious divining process, which has not started; that weird voodoo chanting and that stuff has not started.
"We need to go through this [process], and then eventually we come up with the right level of wisdom and can pick a name, but we're not there. We've done these things before, so there's a history of the truck, but I don't think we should go back and reuse it. But we'll see."
Marchionne did say that the truck would be "expensive — intentionally so" and would thus not directly compete with the Chevrolet Colorado and upcoming Ford Ranger midsized pickups, though it might be similar in size.
He said FCA expects to sell "less than 100,000" units a year of the lifestyle pickup, and that he would likely get one when it debuts in mid-2019.
"I'm a natural buyer," Marchionne said. "If I had a choice between the Wrangler and the pickup truck, I'd buy the pickup truck. I just think it's a better vehicle."