First shot of the next Journey?

2015 Dodge Journey spy shot

While it has gotten less publicity than the new Chrysler 200, the Dodge Journey is expected to be replaced soon with either a new Dodge crossover or a new Chrysler-branded one. Production is said to be moving to Sterling Heights, where the Chrysler 200 is already made, or Belvidere (Dart, Patriot, Compass), making way for a new product at Toluca — which many expect to be a metric-ton-payload pickup truck.

Allpar source “DCXcarbuilder” captured this disguised crossover tooling down a Michigan highway. It is well covered, but appears to reveal Dodge-Charger-style scallops in the doors, and a crossover design that matches the basic lines of the camouflaged Chrysler mid-size car up front.  There is no body identification on it, and the main reason to think it is a Chrysler design is the similarity with recent spy shots of what most people think is the next Chrysler 200.

While Dodge appears to be moving towards embracing its muscle-car reputation, rather than trying to refine it into a more European “handles well and doesn’t need brute force” mode, a properly styled crossover could easily fit into that mold; they do not appear to have hurt BMW or Porsche.  The current Dodge Journey has not been a sales barnstormer in the United States, but has consistently led crossover sales in Canada. A version of Journey has been fairly successful in Europe as the Fiat Freemont, and will reportedly be built in China for domestic sales (since cars cannot be imported into China without punishing duties).

We believe that the roof comes back into more of a hatchback form than a typical space-maximizing SUV shape; indeed, this could be a Dodge Avenger hatchback style, or a very, very well disguised Avenger sedan, rather than a new Journey. The hints of side sculpting could be an attribute of the camouflage or unfinished doors, so this could still be a Chrysler prototype.

Update: Some readers believe this is actually a Lincoln MKC, which is a higher trim version of the Ford Escape. This does not explain why the support cars are all Mopars.

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Ram leading in van growth

With a nearly 47% year-over-year increase as of the end of September, Ram leads the market in commercial van sales.

Nine months into 2016, Ram has sold 39,214 ProMasters — 26,544 full-size ProMasters and 12,649 compact ProMaster Citys.

In September, monthly sales of Chevrolet and Ford vans fell, while Ram van deliveries were up more than 10%. The big ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t wear a blue oval or a bow tie.

Read the full story: Ram leading in van growth  »

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?

2017 Ram and Jeep diesels are reportedly being delayed — but the same is true of diesel engines from nearly all automakers, as the EPA rushes to crack down on diesel emissions cheats.

So far, according to Automotive News’ groundbreaking report, only Jaguar and BMW have been given permission to sell diesels in the US. Others have to wait, pending testing clearance, thanks to Audi-Volkswagen cheats.

Read the full story: What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?  »

Canadians get cheaper Pacificas

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans

Chrysler Canada is now selling a complete line of Pacifica minivans in Canada, with the base LX and Touring models added to Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, and Limited.

All 2017 Chrysler Pacificas are made in Canada at the award-winning Windsor Assembly Plant; the plant built 70% of all full-size minivans sold in Canada last year (including Caravan and Town & Country).

The LX lists for C$37,995,

Read the full story: Canadians get cheaper Pacificas  »

Ram Commercial’s relaunch

ram commercial video

Ram’s “Ram Commercial” division made its full public debut yesterday with a multidimensional ad campaign, four years after being established.

The campaign covers television, print, digital, video and social media. The first ad, “Time,” showed up on yesterday’s NFL game, showing the “surprise and delight” of small businesses with Ram vans. Print ads will appear in magazines including Forbes, Professional Builder, and Remodeling.

Read the full story: Ram Commercial’s relaunch  »

What do you think of the “Chief” blue? (updated)

Jeep is set to launch a new color, “Chief,” according to James Mooney — who backed up his assertion with an image from the Jeep brochure available on-line.

The color hasn’t hit the Build & Price system yet. It seems to hearken back to the popular bright blues of the 1970s and 1990s; we have also  seen a 1920s Chrysler in a slightly more aquamarine, but still factory,

Read the full story: What do you think of the “Chief” blue? (updated)  »

Ram leading in van growth

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?
2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans
Canadians get cheaper Pacificas
ram commercial video
Ram Commercial’s relaunch

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