Dodge Journey to Soldier Along for Two More Years
Planned Replacement Likely Postponed Due to Car Shuffle
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has very publicly committed to doubling down on its truck and SUV strategy, outsourcing production of the tepid-selling Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans, while cranking up production of Jeep and Ram models. However, according to Automotive News (AN), one of the models getting the short end of the stick in this deal is the Dodge Journey. Originally planned to transition to the CUSW platform underpinning the Jeep Cherokee (as well as the Dart and 200) this fall, AN reports the Journey will continue on its current legacy “JC” platform until at least the 2018 model year. Whether or not the Journey will continue as a Dodge product after that point is very much an open question.
With the Dodge brand’s strong pivot toward musclecar performance over the last two years, as well as the impending discontinuation of the Dart compact sedan, the Journey appears to be somewhat of an outlier in the future Dodge lineup. The Dodge brand being without a crossover model is not as big of an issue as it is for other brands, as most FCA brands are sold under one roof. The Journey’s eventual replacement could end up being a long-wheelbase version of the Cherokee with seating for seven. The Journey’s most compelling selling point right now is its low price, with the distinction of being the lowest-priced seven-passenger SUV on the market. However, this “race to the bottom” strategy can often damage resale values and attract customers shopping more on price than features, as most of the market is pursuing higher-margin, content-rich product mixes.
Source: Automotive News