2012 Fiat Freemont – Click above for high-res image gallery

Fiat has reportedly requested that Chrysler boost production at its Toluca, Mexico plant that builds the recently renovated Dodge Journey and new Fiat Freemont, itself basically a Journey wearing the Fiat emblem with the addition of a diesel engine and revised suspension tuning.

According to Automotive News, Fiat dealers have placed some 15,700 orders for the crossover, significantly higher than expected. In fact, Fiat had only planned to sell 13,000 Freemonts for the entire 2011 model year in Europe. According to the automaker, 80 percent of Freemont orders have come from its home market of Italy, where the CUV is priced 5,600 euros less than the Ulysse MPV the Freemont replaces.

In order to satisfy this unforeseen demand, Chrysler needs to supply Fiat with 4,000 units per month, an increase of about a thousand vehicles over initial expectations. So far, the increased production has been accomplished by means of overtime, but Chrysler is hoping to meet the necessary supply for the rest of the year without the additional costs associated with overtime pay.


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  • 66 Comments
      vvk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, duh. Why more American cars are not sold around the world is a big mystery, considering exchange rates and how cheap they are. Low end Mercedes E-klasse or base Chrysler 300? Easy choice, given how one is half price. Now that Chrysler has a worldwide dealer network this may begin to change.
        Saco Sacão
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vvk
        Car taxes. You don't have those in the USA (or they're insignificant), whereas in most European countries they are very high, especially on big engines. Unless your cars are fitted with more sensible engines (like the 2.0 Multijet in the Fiat Freemont), they won't cost half price.
        K Gav
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vvk
        I'll second Saco's comment. In many EU countries anything with an engine bigger than 2L is considered a luxury car and taxed accordingly. A car with a 3.6L engine could easily top 800 euros in annual registration fees. People in EU don't necessarily drive econoboxes out of choice, it's high cost of ownership and lack of space that are the driving factors.
      onewayroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      I sat in a new Journey yesterday while are crapy Caravan was getting it's tranny serviced. When I opened the door, I could not believe how good of a job Chrysler did on the interior. It's now more than just a pretty body.
      benzaholic
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope that's real and sustainable demand. For some unknown reason, I really want Chrysler to survive, so unexpected new sales for them are definitely a plus.
        Saco Sacão
        • 3 Years Ago
        @benzaholic
        I hope too and I like FIAT a lot, but I'm skeptical. The Journey has been available throughout Europe for a few years now as a Dodge and it didn't fare very well. I know this is a revised version and FIAT's dealer network in Europe is a lot better than Chrysler's was, but still I find it hard to believe this is enough... Let's wait and see, I'm prepared to be surprised!
          Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Saco Sacão
          it helps that the revised Journey/Freemont is a much higher quality car with vastly better handling than the previous Journey. The previous Journey had a miserably cheap interior and sloppy handling.
      econnelle
      • 3 Years Ago
      We were stuck with a 09 Journey rental last year. Absolutely one of the worst cars overall I've driven. It did very little well. I even say its worse than the Nitro since they did not learn their lesson. Today is 1 week that we've own a '11 Journey Crew. What an amazing difference. I think they went overboard because the old car was so utterly bad. We've been in the new 300 and the new GC. The Journey is still better. The 300 is great but still a few break lines between materials along the lower edge of the dash, old controls in the GC... But the Journey is great on the inside. The door panels, the soft touch materials, they did a great job of hiding the cheaper stuff. Seats are great. I just wish they had done more to the outside but once people get in them they'd sell much better.
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, that's good news to hear. :)
      starryknight936
      • 3 Years Ago
      Off this topic for a moment... I really wish the Dodge Caliber was a better, more reliable and dependable machine than what it currently is. The Dodge boys had a good idea here and blew it, with no chance in sight of improving it at the last minute...before the nameplate bites the dust. The Journey is a nice vehicle now, no doubt. The Caliber could have been quite a contender in its category had Chrysler given it a chance...with improvements which they didn't make. I'm not talking the interior, which is now much better than before. I speak of mechanicals, better gas mileage, more of a fun to drive demeanor. Oh well... Perhaps Fiat has something similar and better awaiting for us in the not too distant future. Time will tell. Peace!<-AladdinSane<-
        Jim
        • 3 Years Ago
        @starryknight936
        The Caliber would have to be pretty much completely redesigned in order to be competitive. So rather than waste money doing that, they're starting over on the Fiat-derived CUSW platform.
      Steve
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a nice CUV and it is the right size for most of the European and Asian markets. Chrysler needs to have all of it's factories running to keep making money.
      Lowland
      • 3 Years Ago
      Close to half of all regular American cars (so I'm not counting American SUVs/CUVs/vans/sportscars) I see on our Benelux roads are Dodge Journeys. Ugly little critters imo but people seem to like them.
      ajpoolio1
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only time Chrysler was eny good was in the 60's ,on the drag strip . . . . . .
      jMasters
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its all about what makes money now days. Yes, it has to look good to certain point. Look at the Scion xB looks really bad but I people driving it everywhere! http://www.joesstero.com
      Tom Folco
      • 3 Years Ago
      THE EMPLOYEES OF ALL THE AMERICAN AUTO MAKERS WERE ALLOWED TO BUY CARS THAT WERE MADE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD HOW STUPID ARE THEY AND THERE UNIONS THEY NEVER PROTECTED THEIR OWN JOB OR THE COUNTRY I AM IN MY EIGHTIES YES I WAS IN WW2 AND I AM PROUD TO SAY I NEVER OWNED A CAR THAT WAS NOT BUILT BY G M FORD OR CHRYSLER IT SEEMS TO ME THE PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDER 70 YEARS OLD DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW BAD WW2 WAS AND WHAT THE ENEMY DONE TO THE AMERICANS
      newemail400
      • 3 Years Ago
      It might be a good vehicle, but if you read the print it is made in Mexico. Remember to purchase all of your products made in America. As hard as it is I try to read all labels and make my purchases wisely.
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