By on January 18, 2011

My friend Ash Sutcliffe of China Car Times reports that Chrysler will be bringing the Dodge Caliber to China, for production at the Guangzhou Auto / Fiat joint venture.

The Caliber is already available in China as a Mexican made import, but it’s not racking up huge sales. Made in China, it would be price competitive with other crossovers like the new Kia Sportage, the Nissan Qashqai, or Hyundai Tucson. China Car Times expects the Chinese Caliber in early 2012, as “the start of many other Dodge and Jeep products finding production lines in China to make themselves more competitive.”

That would be one way to plant another milestone worth another 5 percent of Chrysler.

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21 Comments on “Dodge Caliber Made In China?...”

  • avatar

    If Chinese people are dumb enough to buy 25 year-old Jettas, they could maybe purchase enough Calibers to make Chrysler profitable.
    And eventually, we could get our money back.

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t it be better to sell good cars in China in the hope of establishing a reputation for selling good cars? Why make yourself synonymous with third rate?

  • avatar

    Correction: this car is currently a US export, from Belvedere, Illinois (, not Mexico.
    Yes, nothing to be proud of, especially considering the low volume the Chinese are likely buying these in, but this vehicle is one of the few US branded and made vehicles sold in China.

  • avatar

    Chrysler has never made the Caliber in Mexico. The only Caliber production, anywhere, is in Belvidere, IL and in Venezuela (knock-down kits for local distribution only because of Venezuela’s local content laws).

    Now, the Chinese news has it all wrong. It’s been news for about a week now that the “next generation Caliber” (not really a Caliber, but a new four door sedan) would “also” be built in and sold in China as a Fiat.

    Your friend at the China Car Times needs to get fact straight.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure why people hate the Caliber so much.  I drove a rental, and I liked it far more than the Matrix TRD I drove.  It was roomy, it was more comfortable, it had more power, and I liked the CVT tranny.  Of course, the handling was pretty mushy.

    It made me wonder if the hatred was badge-related.

    • 0 avatar

      @geo: I’d agree. The rental Caliber I had was a nice little wagon. I’d consider one for myself, but I’ve heard too many horror stories about front end issues on these cars. I see that the new ones have a revised front suspension, which leads me to believe all of those posts on Edmunds were true. Even so, they still hold their value pretty well, with 2-3 year old used ones still in five figures. You would think their value would drop like a stone, but so far, it hasn’t happened.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree- I’ve driven both a Caliber and a Matrix (and a previous gen Vibe) and would take the Caliber over either of the Toyota offerings.
      I also find the badge-engineered Jeep Compass a nice vehicle… even if it’s not really a *Jeep* at heart.

    • 0 avatar

      The Compass really should not exist . . . the extra resources should have gone to the Patriot (as well as the model name).  But the Compass, objectively speaking, is a pretty decent vehicle for a cheap price.  And the upcoming update is going to make it pretty attractive.

      Not every vehicle needs to be groundbreaking, beautiful, class-leading, or “purist-approved”.  Neither the Compass or Caliber deserve the trashing they get. 

    • 0 avatar

      I actually like the look of the higher end Calibers – when all the plastic is painted some uniform color. Has a decent sporty wagon roofline.

    • 0 avatar

      The rental I had was terrible, it was the cheapest most horrid piece of crap I’ve ever driven. It handled terribly, you couldn’t see out of the damn thing, and it was small inside, and large outside. I’ve never driven a matrix, but if it’s worse than a caliber, watch out!
      I think the caliber looks ok on the outside the interior is just cheap shitty plastic abound. For 17 grand you can basically get a new ford focus, is that even a comparison??

    • 0 avatar

      If the Matrix is your reference, then I can understand how the Caliber might seem like a decent car!

    • 0 avatar

      @geo: +1 on the Compass. I personally liked the little box, and it is on my list of possible new (to me) cars when one of my current ones kicks the bucket.
      Unfortunately, the Jeepinista really, really dislike this car, but I’ve seen it as the modern day successor to the Jeepster. I guess it’s Jeep thing…

  • avatar

    If the US can’t compete with China financial or militarily… give ’em Calibers and let the chips fall where they may. It may be our last hope.

  • avatar

    I had rental Caliber once on business and the engine was coarse and the amount of plastic cladding tacked onto the roof / hatch area was silly. The overall shape / size seemed about right but every time I stepped on the gas there was lots of noise and very little motion. Maybe it had CVT? This car has potential… maybe the next version will be Fiat-ized enough to fix it.

  • avatar

    it will probably be screwed together better than at Belvidere

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      It’ll be amusing if the Chinese teach Dodge and Fiat a thing or two about building a reliable car.

    • 0 avatar

      Can we have a “How reliable was your Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep thread? I’m really rather sick of hearing about these terribly-built, barely-running-when-new Chrysler cars.
      My family have had 9 or 10 Chrysler products since 1995. All went well-over 100k, except the neon sunroof sedan that was totaled at 90k. It feels like there’s only so much negative Chrysler news so ya’ll can bait-and-remove any staunch supporters.

  • avatar

    I rented one of these things, it is bad, it’s really that bad. Every time I saw one I lamented about why anyone would buy one, only the ones that were obviously not rentals, because if they looked like rentals I prayed they were. I’d honestly take a VW product before this pile of trash, that’s saying a lot.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a VW, and a Toyota, and have owned and driven Cadillacs, Buicks, and Jeeps and would take my Calibers any day over any of them. My ’96 2500 Ram conversion van is still running and towing strong.

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