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It's the rumor that just won't go away, and Jeep is fanning the flames further by saying that a pickup version of the Wrangler could be coming with the next redesign of the brand's iconic standard-bearer. Mike Manley, president of the Jeep brand, reiterated to Bloomberg that he's been a fan of a Wrangler pickup for a long time, and sees great sales potential for such a model in the U.S. and Middle Eastern markets. Manley told an Australian media outlet in August that a final decision on a Wrangler pickup was imminent.
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But a Wrangler pickup isn't the only new model the brand has in store in its quest for worldwide growth. A B-segment SUV, along the size of the Ford EcoSport, is slated for production at one of Fiat's plants in southern Italy, which will also build the upcoming Fiat 500X crossover. But Jeep has plans for larger as well as smaller models, with a three-row Grand Wagoneer planned larger than the current Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep brand had huge international growth in 2012, with sales in Asia going up 94 percent, European sales increasing 29 percent, and growing 18 percent in Latin America. U.S. sales increased 13 percent in 2012. The U.S. remains Jeep's largest market. The brand expects to top sales of 800,000 units worldwide for 2013. Jeep is the most widely recognized of Chrysler's brands in overseas markets.
Source: Bloomberg, Reuters
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