Chrysler to shift output of next-gen Dodge Journey from Mexico to Detroit

Article by Anita Panait, on May 30, 2013

Chrysler Group will transfer the production of the next generation Dodge Journey to Detroit, Michigan from Toluca, Mexico, according to AutomotiveCompass citing suppliers as its source. AutomotiveCompass said in a report that Chrysler will shift production of the Journey to its Sterling Heights Assembly site, where it will also build the next-generation Chrysler 200 sedan.

Chrysler will build the Dodge Journey and the Chrysler 200 on the CUSW platform that underpins the Dodge Dart and the upcoming Jeep Cherokee, which will be built at the carmaker's Toledo North Assembly site in June 2013.

The carmaker will launch the Chrysler 200 in January 2014 and the next-generation Journey sometime in 2016. Chrysler's 2009 product plan entails having up to eight vehicles sharing the CUSW platform, including the Dodge Avenger. In 2012, Automotive News reported that the Avenger would not be renewed to pave way for the Chrysler 200.

Chrysler has been producing the Journey in Mexico, in part because it allows the carmaker to export the vehicle to South America and Europe, where it is rebadged and sold as the Fiat Freemont. If the transfer of the output of the Journey/Freemont pushes through, it would result to higher sticker prices for the vehicle in Europe and South America, no thanks to existing trade agreements.

Shifting the Journey output, however, would focus production of Chrysler's CUSW-based vehicles in three assembly sites in Sterling Heights, Toledo North, and Belvidere, Illinois.

The close proximity of the sites to each other could enable suppliers to provide common components to all three plants, thereby reducing costs. Chrysler's Toluca site also produces the North American version of the Fiat 500. Automotive News reported earlier this year that Fiat would consolidate output of the next-generation Fiat 500 in its Tychy site in Poland.

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