Just as it might happen to the Mexican Fiat 500, the production location of the Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont may change with the arrival of the new generation. According to a report based on suppliers information, Chrysler will bring the production of the new Journey to Michigan, USA, as part of a group of cars that will share the same platform. Currently this Dodge is produced in Toluca, Mexico, benefiting from lower labor costs, and Mexican free trade agreements with South America and Europe. This has allowed Chrysler to export the model with competitive prices and even rebadge it with Fiat’s logo. However, as the next generation is expected to arrive in 2016, it will use the CUSW platform that is also used for the Dodge Dart, the new Jeep Cherokee, and the coming Chrysler 200 (to be introduced in January 2014). As they will use the same platform and their production locations will be more or less close (in Sterling Heights, Toledo North, and Belvidere), suppliers would benefit from this, and therefore there would be cost savings. If both rumors are confirmed, the Mexican plant would face a real problem as it only produces these 2 models and there aren’t any plans for new products in the coming years.
Last year Chrysler sold more than 132.000 units of the Journey (record year) and more than 36.000 units of the Freemont. Toluca plant produced 178.716 units of both models, up 26%. It counted for 39% of Chrysler’s Mexican production in 2012 (it also produces the Ram Pickup Heavy and Light Duty).