But rumours are building that the current-gen Journey – which launched in 2008 and was originally expected to receive an all-new replacement this year – will carry on for at least another two years before a clean-sheet successor arrives and production shifts from Mexico to… Italy?
That’s not the only interesting aspect to the rumour being peddled by industry paper Automotive News.
According to “supplier sources”, the reason for relocating the Journey assembly line is so Dodge and Fiat can build their next-gen people carrier on the Giorgio platform – the same platform currently used by the Maserati Quattroporte, Ghibli and Alfa Romeo Giulia.
That means the Journey/Freemont could switch from a transverse-engined, FWD/AWD configuration to a longitudinally-engined, RWD/AWD one, with a similar range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines to the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
The use of such premium, performance-oriented underpinnings also opens up the possibility of a sporty SRT flagship, perhaps using a version of the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s twin-turbocharged V6 (below).
But why? Automotive News says moving Journey/Freemont production to Italy would free up capacity at Fiat-Chrysler’s plant in Toluca, Mexico for volume-selling Jeep models such as the successor to the Compass and Patriot, while also making better use of under-utilised facilities in Italy
What effect the change in sourcing may have for the Journey and Freemont’s sticker price remains to be seen, but we’ll likely have to wait until the latter half of 2018 – or even 2019 – to find out.