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By Drew Johnson

The compact truck market has all but dried up in the United States – with most entrants in the segment now nearly as large and thirsty as their full-size counterparts – but Chrysler could be planning to breathe new life into the fading segment.

According to a new report, Chrysler revealed two new compact pickup truck models to dealers at a recent meeting. It remains unknown if the trucks shown have already been green lighted for production, but it at least shows Chrysler’ future direction in the segment.

The first truck show was listed as a replacement to the current Dodge Dakota. Not many details are known about the Dakota replacement, but Chrysler described it as a ‘lifestyle sport truck’.

Dealers also reported being shown a small pickup truck for the Jeep brand. Onlookers described the truck as “all Jeep in the front”, with an overall look similar to the brand’s Gladiator concept. The Jeep pickup also featured a hybrid drivetrain.

While it remains to be seen if either pickup truck will eventually make production, it at least sounds as if Chrysler’s product development has gotten back on track.



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Sources Say: Jeep Pickup Truck Coming for 2012

A version of a Jeep pickup shown to Chrysler dealers during a recent dealers meeting in Orlando, Fla., has been greenlit for production, according to PickupTrucks.com sources.

On Tuesday, Jeep CEO Mike Manley reportedly showed dealers a pickup truck that’s said to closely resemble the well-received Jeep Gladiator concept from 2005.

Industry sources have told us that production of the Jeep pickup is expected to start in the third quarter of 2011, with the pickup badged as a 2012 model. It’s said to be based on the four-door Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited platform but with a two-door regular cab configuration with extra space behind the front seats for storage.

Jeep hasn't offered a pickup for sale to consumers in North America since the 1992 Jeep Comanche ended production.

Manley told PickupTrucks.com in June that he was interested in small pickup trucks because of their popularity worldwide.

Todd Goyer, head of Jeep brand communication and product planning, said the company had no comment about the news of a Jeep pickup.

Our friends at FourWheeler are hearing similar rumblings about a Jeep pickup.



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Let's hope the NG Dakota isn't some sissified font-drive minivan with a bed on it.

Either way, I like the sound of this Jeep pickup.

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