The Journey will soon disappear from Dodge dealerships in Europe, but the crossover will live on in the market as a Fiat model. The automaker announced today that it will market the crossover under its Fiat brand as the Freemont come 2011.
Company CEO Sergio Marchionne has been feverishly looking for avenues to reduce production and engineering costs through the integration of Fiat and Chrysler. One way the automaker is decreasing its costs is by reducing the number of different models, and introducing rebadged vehicles across its brands.
Replacing the Fiat Ulysse, the Freemont won’t differ much from its Dodge sibling. Last year, Fiat sold just 1956 Ulysse models in Europe, compared to the 8395 Journey units sold during the same period. Fiat’s 5000 dealerships scattered throughout Europe are expected to help the new model perform well. Unlike the tired Ulysse, the Journey’s all-wheel drive option and fresh styling are expected to help its sales flourish. Powertrain options include a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 diesel — the first Chrysler engine in a Fiat product.
The Freemont is the third shared model from the Chrysler-Fiat tie-up, and won’t likely be the last. Chrysler’s new 300 sedan was recently confirmed to make its debut as a Lancia model, while Lancia’s Delta will in turn be dressed in Chrysler badging. The three models are set to make their world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March. Production will take place at the Toluca, Mexico facility that builds the Fiat 500, with sales beginning in June.
Source: Automotive News