LOS ANGELES – If we could convert dollars into dollars, the Jeep would be rich after what it did Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
It does not matter. The parent company of the brand, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will in any case earn sales after revealing the Jeep Gladiator pickup at a press conference attended by hundreds of journalists.
It is as close to guaranteed success as in the automotive industry.
"The reality is that Jeep is a brand of Teflon, and whatever they do, people will become buyers," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
The beginnings of the gladiator were a real sight to behold.
Even before the event began, Jeep was forcing journalists to wait in front of a large tent adjacent to the LA convention center, teeming around the entrance as dizzying groupies waiting for the doors to open. 39, a concert.
Once inside, the audience of the ability quickly realized that it would not be a start of the series at the auto show.
When the Gladiator entered, he literally climbed up the steps, showing his robust versatility.
Then, in the spirit of drama, the edition Jeep Gladiator Rubicon entered the scene flying over an improvised look-alike.
And why not? Jeep can not do any harm now.
Jeep sales increased 19% this year, compared with 1% for the industry as a whole.
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This is a mark on a certifiable hot series. And Jeep executives know that they are about to print money with the Gladiator.
This is a Wrangler in his heart.
The Gladiator is a pickup version of the Wrangler SUV, which has an extremely dedicated following.
"The Wrangler has become the most recognizable vehicle in the world," said Tim Kuniskis, Jeep North America Brand Manager.
And the Wrangler is booming, with sales up 25% this year to 204,269 units in the first 10 months.
This is a medium sized pickup.
The mid-size pickup segment is also skyrocketing. According to IHS Markit, its size has doubled in the last four years, from about 1.5% of sector sales to 3%.
And it will continue to grow.
Ford revives the renewal of the Ranger, while Tesla develops a pickup truck and Volkswagen plans.
It's a jeep.
Quite simply, this brand stands out in the American consciousness. His deep roots in Americana have allowed him to survive and maintain an emotional appeal that transcends vehicle specifications and quality issues.
"It's a brand that has no luggage, it's the brand of busboys and billionaires," said Lindland of Kelley Blue Book.
And its attractiveness is growing.
"Whenever Jeep adds a new product to its portfolio, it adds new buyers," Kuniskis said.
The fans wanted it.
This is not a manufacturer who is trying to launch a new product whose call is questionable.
Fans have been demanding a Wrangler pickup since Jeep revealed the redesigned Wrangler last year. It marks the return of the gladiator nameplate, manufactured as a van in the 1960s.
"This brand has the most vocal fan base in the world," said Kuniskis.
Now, they have their wish. And Jeep will get his sales.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
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