The Jeep Comanche was only in production for seven short years, but in addition to lumber and drywall it picked up tons of admirers. Now, with the help of a MOPAR conversion kit, you can dress a Jeep Wrangler in pickup truck trimmings too. Starting this week Jeep dealerships will be taking delivery of these kits and demand has already exceeded expectations.
MOPAR estimated between 200 to 300 JK-8 Independence conversion kits would be needed to satisfy customer demand but dealerships ordered 400. Even with the surplus of orders MOPAR should have all deliveries finished by the middle of January 2012.
MOPAR president Pietro Gorlier believes the demand for the kits is a strong market indicator. However, he stops short of saying that Jeep is ready to pull the trigger on a pickup model, despite the fact that the idea has been discussed and rumored for years. Gorlier told WardsAuto that Jeep President Mike Manley “has been pretty clear” that a pickup truck variant of the Wrangler is being explored.
“When we go to the next generation of the Wrangler, [a pickup] will probably be considered,” said Gorlier to WardsAuto.
This may not be exactly what Jeep pickup truck enthusiasts were looking for, but it’s definitely a start. The conversion kits that are spoken for already have been purchased by “serious Jeep aficionados” said Bob Shuman, principal owner of Shuman Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Walled Lake, MI to WardsAuto. Without question the conversion kit appeals to a special niche in the market. When we checked around at local dealerships here in Los Angeles no one had placed any orders for the kit.
Still, choosing the Wrangler as a landing pad for MOPAR’s pickup truck conversion kit touches upon a demographic where 111,045 vehicles were sold through November. The ever-stalwart Wrangler was received very warmly after the interior was thoroughly updated this year.
Do you think this conversion kit is an adequate substitution for an actual Jeep pickup truck model? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.