Chrysler Group is planning to build the next generation of the Dodge Journey in metro Detroit instead of Mexico, according to a published report that cites suppliers as the source.
The Journey will move to Chrysler's Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly plant, where it will be built alongside the next-generation Chrysler 200 sedan, according to analysis firm AutomotiveCompass.
A spokeswoman for Chrysler would not comment on the report.
Both vehicles would be built on the same CUSW platform that also underpins the Dodge Dart and upcoming Jeep Cherokee. The Chrysler 200 is due in January 2014, while the next-generation Journey isn't due until 2016. The Cherokee goes into production at Chrysler's Toledo North Assembly plant next month.
Chrysler's 2009 product plan called for up to eight vehicles to share the CUSW platform, including the Dodge Avenger. Automotive News reported last year that the Avenger would not be renewed in favor of the Chrysler 200.
The Journey has been built in Toluca, Mexico, in part to allow for export to South America and Europe, where it is rebadged and sold as the Fiat Freemont. Current trade agreements mean that producing the Freemont in the United States would translate to higher sticker prices for the vehicle in Europe and South America.
Moving the Journey would concentrate production of Chrysler's CUSW vehicles in three assembly plants: Sterling Heights, Toledo North, and Belvidere, Ill. Their close proximity could allow suppliers to feed production of common components on CUSW vehicles to all three plants, reducing costs.
Chrysler's Toluca plant also builds the North American version of the Fiat 500. However, Automotive News reported earlier this year that Fiat would consolidate production of its next-generation Fiat 500 in its plant in Tychy, Poland.
If both products move, it would leave the highly regarded Toluca plant without a product after 2016.