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Journey moving to Sterling Heights

Sterling Heights

The Detroit Free Press reported today that Chrysler will move the next generation Dodge Journey from Toluca, Mexico, to Sterling Heights, Michigan, which today builds the 200 and Avenger; the plant is also slated to build the next generation of the 200, which will be a completely different design.

The next-generation Journey and 200 are moving to the same basic platform and architecture as Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee, a move that was announced years ago.

The Freep credited Automotive Compass with the news; that organization credited suppliers for the information. Automotive Compass also confirmed that the Dodge Avenger was to cease production, as announced.  Chrysler has declined to comment.

The new Journey and Freemont are still some time off, with Automotive Compass claiming they will start up in January 2016. The Journey was recently refreshed, but will stand alone as the last of its series for over a year. Sales of the Journey have been low in the United States, but it has been the perennial best-seller for its class in Canada, has been the best-selling crossover in Mexico, and is moderately popular in Europe (for a car of its size) as the Fiat Freemont.

The Toluca plant also builds the Fiat 500 for sale in North America. Prior to the Journey, Toluca was the sole source of the PT Cruiser and, before that, the Neon Coupe, also building some Neon sedans. The Sterling Heights plant was earmarked for closure when Fiat first took over Chrysler, but was eventually purchased from the old, in-bankruptcy Chrysler and given $1 billion in upgrades. According to past statements, the plant could also build the Dodge Dart or Jeep Cherokee as needed, though this is not currently planned. (Thanks, MoparStu.)

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