Jeep and its diverse arsenal of SUV offerings has always been an enduring symbol of American engineering, with the brand making recent strides in the European market. While the Compass and Renegade CUVs have led the way for the brand on the other side of the pond, there are a small group of Jeep customers that crave more, and want a product that can fulfill multiple niche roles. Jeep has heard their request, and revealed that the Gladiator pickup is thundering its way to the European market.
The launch was confirmed by Jeep’s Head of European operations Jeff Hines in a statement that was released to the British publication Autocar. Hines revealed that Jeep will begin sending the first models to Europe and the UK by mid-2020 which will give Jeep time to make the necessary changes needed to make the Gladiator comply with European safety and emissions standards.
“It will land in quarter one or quarter two in 2020,” he said, when asked about the Gladiator specifically. “It won’t be big volumes, but our customers love the idea of it.”
Jeep’s decision to bring the Gladiator to these markets is a strong sign of not only how successful Jeep has been abroad in recent years, but also in terms of recent sales figures, with the brand’s sales jumping by almost 50 percent last year to a stout 170,000 units. As mentioned, the Compass and the Renegade form the backbone of Jeep’s European presence, with both of them contributing significantly to Jeep’s increased sales momentum. However, there are customers out there that want a more potent off-road offering, especially one that can offer them some of the niche capabilities that the Gladiator brings to the table (including its novel pickup truck bed.) The Gladiator would also allow the brand to have a contender to take on one Europe exclusive offering in particular, the Volkswagen Amarok.
As for buyers in the U.S. they will have considerably less time to wait for the Gladiator’s arrival into showrooms, with the first models expected to be in showrooms in just a few weeks. The Gladiator will have a tightly contested mid-size pickup truck market to contend with on this side of the Atlantic when it eventually does arrive in the hands of consumers, with rivals such as the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and the recently launched Ford Ranger all aiming to ruin the Gladiator’s chances at following up on the initial buzz that surrounded its global debut at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show late last year.