Expect the Jeep Gladiator to be an Auto Retail Power Player

Jeep Gladiator

In November Jeep unveiled a new Gladiator model at the LA Auto Show that is stirring excitement in the industry. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will be available in the latter half of the 2019 and is based on the Jeep Wrangler’s platform.

This isn’t the company’s first truck. The original was the 1947 Willy’s Overland Jeep pickup. The last pickup from the company was the Comanche, which was based on the Cherokee SUV and discontinued in ‘92.

Prior to the Comanche, Jeep had the forbearer of this newest addition to their lineup. That version of the Gladiator was in production for twenty-six years and was modeled on the Wagoneer. After 1971 the name Gladiator was dropped in favor of J-Series.

Jeep Gladiator

Growing Demand for Trucks

The Comanche was introduced in the 80s to meet interest in trucks at the time. In a 1982 Times article, AMC chairman W. Paul Tippett Jr. was quoted as saying “People are finding trucks a reasonable and sophisticated alternative to cars.” Low sales in the early 90s ended the Comanche’s tour of duty, but the passage of time has brought the trend back.

Today customers are once again clamoring for trucks and the revived Gladiator is the answer to this renewed interest. Said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand-North America, in a company press release for the new Gladiator, “There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pickup truck buyers everywhere.”

Meeting Customers’ Needs Through Customization

“Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility and functionality resulting in the most capable midsize truck ever,” asserts Kuniskis.

Indeed the Toledo-based Gladiator has some impressive specs. The design team opted to retain the Wrangler’s iconic seven-slot grille but widened the slots for additional air intake. This gives the truck increased towing and hauling capacity:

  • Towing capacity – 7650 pounds
  • Hauling capacity – 1600 pounds

More importantly, the Gladiator allows for a great deal of customization. It’s available in four trim configurations:

  • Sport
  • Sport S
  • Overland
  • Rubicon

There are also several body-color hardtop options, as well as open-air driving options, and many door, top and windshield combinations. Altogether, this mid-sized pickup provides endless possibilities for configuration.

For those wanting to play with those options, there’s fun waiting on the company site where customers can already begin building their models and playing around with the different available features in advance of the 2019 spring rollout.

A Premium Truck for Today’s Driver

Overall, the 2020 Gladiator is looking to be a contender in the latest wave of trucks. Signaling the Gladiator’s premium status is its price tag: while the official prices aren’t out yet, depending on how you outfit it, the company’s building tool shows that some versions could top $50k.

That’s not exactly unusual in today’s truck market. Prices for the Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500 Limited and Ford F-150 are also pretty high. The 2020 Gladiator is just one more indicator that companies are setting some large bets on the consumer trend for trucks.