Fiat S.p.A. sources said that Chrysler Group will stop sales of the Dodge Journey in Europe but rather, it will market the minivan with a Fiat badge called the Freemont.
Freemont will be a rebadged version of the revamped Dodge Journey presented at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2010. The Journey was given minor exterior design tweaks, a modified suspension and a revised interior.
The Freemont is part of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's plan to slash development costs and boost capacity utilization at the automakers' factories by cross selling vehicles from Chrysler and Fiat brands.
In 2008, Chrysler launched sales of the Dodge Journey in Europe. Fiat will launch the Freemont at the Geneva auto show in March 2011 and start European sales in June 2011. According to U.K.-based market researchers JATO Dynamics, in the first 10 months, European sales of the Journey fell 20 percent to 5,792 units.
The Freemont's engines will include Fiat's 170-hp 2.0-liter diesel, the first application of a Fiat engine in a Chrysler vehicle. The current Journey has a 140-hp 2.0-liter diesel supplied by Volkswagen AG.
The Freemont will replace Fiat's slow-selling Ulysse minivan, which the company stopped building in December 2010. In 2009, Fiat sold 1,956 Ulysse units. [via autonews - sub. required]