Production of the next-generation Dodge Journey crossover, as well the version sold in Europe as the Fiat Freemont, will move from Mexico to Sterling Heights, Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, the next Journey will be built alongside the 2015 Chrysler 200, on a similar platform derived from Europe's Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant currently builds the Chrysler 200 sedan and convertible, the related Dodge Avenger sedan, and the European derivative Lancia Flavia. However, an all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is due to enter production in January 2014, and we're told the Dodge Avenger will be discontinued. That would leave space to build a crossover, the next-gen Dodge Journey, at the Sterling Heights plant.
The next Chrysler 200 is said to be a more "beautiful and relevant" car that will no longer be an also-ran in terms of quality and refinement. It will likely use a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine and nine-speed automatic shared with the Dodge Dart, along with a 3.6-liter V-6 cribbed from other Chrysler products. The 200 will likely be based on a version of the CUSW platform that was created from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
The next generation Dodge Journey and Fiat Freemont will reportedly arrive a year later as 2016 models. They will also be based on a version of the CUSW platform, which makes sense if they are to be produced at the Sterling Heights alongside the Chrysler 200. The Free Press reports that the new models will start production in January 2016.
A Dodge spokesman declined to comment on the future of the Journey crossover, saying he had "absolutely nothing" to say with regards to the Free Press report.
The 2013 Dodge Journey is offered with a choice between a 173-hp, 2.4-liter inline-four engine, and a 283-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Pricing starts at $19,990, after a $950 destination charge.