Detroit - Jeep is getting ready to join the bakkie wars towards the end of this decade.
According to The Detroit News, Jeep boss Mike Manley has confirmed that the company will launch a pick-up based on the next-generation Wrangler, meaning it's almost certain to be available as a 4x4 only.
The exact timing is not known at this stage, but the next-generation Wrangler is reportedly due in 2017 so it's likely that the pick-up will surface in 2018.
This certainly won't be the first time that Jeep has built a pick-up. In fact there are a few notable examples scattered through automotive history, including the Wagoneer-based Gladiator of the 1960s and the Cherokee-based Comanche of the '80s.
Jeep also revived the Gladiator name for the 2005 concept truck that you see in the accompanying picture, which shows that the American SUV specialist was already pondering a Wrangler-based pick-up more than a decade ago.
Yet the Fiat takeover of recent years could well have swayed things in the pick-up's favour as Fiat Chrysler's current boss Sergio Marchionne is said to be quite a fan of the idea.