At the time, the pickup was known as the CJ8 "Scrambler" and Jeep was owned by the now dead AMC Motors company. When Chrysler bought Jeep in 1987, it updated the CJ's to the Wrangler model, but the Scrambler was never replaced.
The thinking was that since Jeep was now part of Chrysler, and Dodge was making pickups, a Jeep pickup was seen as competition between two Chrysler products. What Chrysler didn't know, and might still be ignoring, is that loyalty to Jeep is strong and distinct. While Jeep is a brand of Chrysler, being a Jeep owner doesn't necessarily mean you are a fan of Dodge or Chrysler. A Jeep pickup would not be any competition for a Dodge truck. If a Jeep owner also owns a pickup, it could be any brand.
Wranglers are perfect for outdoorsmen. They can traverse deserts, mountains, snowy roads and dirt tracks as well as they can cruise up and down the beach carrying surfboards or fishing gear. The people who enjoy Wranglers for what they are capable of, need to carry a bit of gear with them. Unfortunately most Wranglers are quite small, and room for supplies is limited.
A Wrangler pickup would be perfect for a typical Jeep owner. The ability to go anywhere and take everything you need with you. This would include the fishing cooler, the boar you shot, and your dog who decided to roll in the mud while you were out hunting and fishing.
For years, Jeep enthusiasts have been demanding a Wrangler truck. While Chrysler hasn't yet provided an answer, some companies have. American Expedition Vehicles offers a "Brute" kit that converts your Wrangler into a pickup. This kit is so complete and the quality is so good, that Chrysler even gave its excellence award and has developed ties with the company.
Many Jeep fanatics have taken the time and expense to convert their Wranglers into pickups, but many are left wondering why Chrysler wont just build them the vehicle they want. Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year at the Detroit auto show that there was a bit of conflict between the Ram team and the decision to make a Jeep pickup, but that there is room for both. There isn't a Jeep fan out there that wouldn't like to see a pickup made. Come on Sergio! let's get it done! And throw a diesel in there too.