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.

For 2011, Dodge utilized not only what was good but even managed to make it better. With this, the new Journey has undergone a complete refurbishment. The exterior has a new design with the interior just as stunning. This model’s suspension has been retuned with a new V6 engine fitted inside. The Journey however is not limited to that. It has the most current and best vehicle connectivity and customization. This is mainly due to the PowerNet electrical architecture made by the Chrysler Group.

Through this, customers will be able to have the world within reach given the Uconnect Touch, the touch screen command center of the Journey. Powering the 2011 Dodge Journey is the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is paired to the six-speed smooth-shifting transmission, and offers 283 hp with peak torque of 260 lb.-ft. The output, when compared to the previous V6 engine, is higher by 20%.

No matter what the driving condition may be or the current road situation is, the 2011 Journey is composed, nimble, and above all, delivers good handling. Further, engineers at Chrysler Group have managed to enhance the routine ride handling. They did this by re-engineering the geometry of the suspension while putting in the new and upgraded premium wheels.

In addition, the steering was redesigned to allow for more coordinated and even more precise response. Without a doubt, customers behind the wheel will get to feel a fun-to-drive and energetic experience. As mentioned, the 2011 Journey has the Uconnect Touch media center which offers a number of features from navigation systems to the dual-zone climate controls.

With this, the driver can get the necessary data like fuel prices. This allows for an exceptional travel for all occupants, driver and the passengers. A total of 4 Uconnect Touch models will be offered, each one containing technology that is top-of-the-line as well as controls that are easy to use. Through the touch-screen display and the range of user-friendly touch key categories, connecting, and even controlling personal devices is customizable, intuitive, and best of all, simple.

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