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.