By on May 30, 2013


The latest scuttlebutt has the Dodge Journey moving from Mexico to Michigan during its next redesign – and that could leave Chrysler’s plant in Toluca, Mexico without any product.

The next-generation Journey, due in 2016, will apparently move to Chrysler’s plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where it will be built alongside the next generation Chrysler 200. Both will use the CUSW platform platform currently employed by the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart, and moving the Journey to Michigan means that suppliers can take advantage of closer proximity to the three CUSW plants (Michigan, Toldeo, and Belvidere) to help keep costs down.

But according to Automotive News the move out of Mexico presents its own issues

The Journey has been built in Toluca, Mexico, in part to allow for export to South America and Europe, where it is rebadged and sold as the Fiat Freemont. Current trade agreements mean that producing the Freemont in the United States would translate to higher sticker prices for the vehicle in Europe and South America.

Before the Journey leaves, production of the Fiat 500 will have packed up and gone to Poland – likely as a way to utilize excess capacity in Europe. But that means Toluca will have a giant hole in its product lineup, unless something new starts being made. Or Chrysler shifts production of a current product to Mexico.

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18 Comments on “Dodge Journey Moving To Michigan, Toluca May Be Left Barren...”

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I confess. I just couldn’t leave this line “that could love Chrysler’s plant in Toluca, Mexico without any product” without noting the possible
    “Freudian typo.”

    Don’t shoot! I don’t make a habit of these kinds of “persnickety editor/grammarian” comments.

  • avatar

    A global product that sells well in the US, South America, AND Europe, to take advantages of toluca’s tax benefits.

    Jeep can’t keep up with demand for Wrangler’s or Grand Cherokees, both popular worldwide.

    Seems like an obvious fix to me.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, adding Jeep production to Toluca would be a better use of resources than continuing to send Fiat Freemonts to Europe. Jeep transaction prices would have to be higher, and in larger volumes.

  • avatar

    Well, why not move the Journey to Michigan? After all, Chrysler once said the Journey is possibly the world’s best vehicle…

    A friend bought one of these for his wife. She said she likes it. I have never driven nor rode in one, yet.

    I do like the basic lines and design, but they’re all so plain, so until Chrysler adds some more bling to make it more attractive to me, I’ll just respect it and admire it from afar.

    Any notes on how reliable Chrysler’s products have gotten under Fiat management?

    • 0 avatar

      2 years and 30,000 miles on my 2011 300C. Only issue is a software reset needed on the uconnect and an airbag recall.

      i have blown 2 tires on potholes, but that’s prolly more a function of factory 20’s shod with cheap firestones then the car itself; to be fair one of those potholes was not survivable under any brand tire (edge of pothole sliced sidewall), other one should have been.

  • avatar

    Built in Michigan with Chinese parts from Detroit?

  • avatar

    tomaron nuestros trabajos!

  • avatar

    Dodge Journey LOVES potholes!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The Journey is an ok product, rides like its suspension is made out of marshmallows and the brakes were an issue, which the dealer took care of, otherwise it has served us well in just over 3 yrs.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Are they seriously going to keep building that thing for almost another three years?

    • 0 avatar

      If we were talking about the first gen, then I’d be right there with you. But the current one is actually a decent little… vehicle (Van? SUV? CUV? Wagon?) Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but personally I think it’s fairly attractive. The interior is greatly improved over the early ones as well.

  • avatar

    The ‘beers per hour’ is better in Detroit???
    Mexico needs to get on the ball,or keg?

  • avatar

    Really, really doubt that this will happen as Toluca is one of the best factories in the Chrysler portfolio. It makes sense in the sense that 500 and Fremont production has been rumored to move to Brazil. Like in the bad old days, send the obsolete hardware down here to sell to us ignorant peons. Will undoubtedly be a hit as Brazilians cannot get enough of the current 500 and Freemont. Guess if it is sent down here it represents another 3 yrs (Freemont) or 5 yrs (500) production before products gets stale here.

    500 can’t go to Poland and Freemont can’t go to Michigan and continue to be sold here or they get a super duper tariff slapped on them. Hummmm, seems this is shaping up nicely for Brazilian production

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t there a change coming in the Mexico-Brazil trade agreement? Could that make a difference?

      The Toluca plant has been upgraded several times, but I believe the Saltillo, Mexico plants are larger and more modern. Toluca has a car assembly plant and stamping plant, but Saltillo has two engine plants, one for the V8s and one for the Pentastar, and the truck assembly.

      It may be that Chrysler/Fiat has the room at Saltillo for car assembly (or expansion plans) closer to the US border and can dispense with Toluca near Mexico City.

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