Until 2016 Fiat was able to sell the model in Italy Freemont, an suv identical to the Dodge Journey sold in the United States. The rebadge operation led the brand, at the time managed by Sergio Marchionne, to occupy a market segment that had hitherto been practically unknown in Turin. In 2021 Fiat no longer has this model in the list (five years have already passed), but the current generation is still the protagonist of other markets, in particular the Chinese and Latin American ones.
Dodge Journey now no longer shares the car with Fiat, but with Trumpchi, a Chinese brand that is part of the GAC group. And, to be precise, today the Journey is a rebadge of the GS5 model circulating in China. We are talking about a C-segment SUV that was presented in 2018 for the Chinese market, with a good impact in terms of sales. Compared to the Freemont generation, the car is shorter (4.7 meters) and features a reliable 168 horsepower 1.5-liter petrol engine. Dodge should not dedicate the car to the US market, but will fall back to Mexico and probably the countries of South America.
Taking a step back, Fiat Freemont it was ‘presented’ in January 2011 in Geneva. It replaced the Ulysse, albeit on different markets, thanks in particular to the third row of seats. Another factor in favor of the Fiat version was the presence of the Multijet engine. FCA did not yet exist, and therefore that agreement with Chrysler was very interesting for the insiders. In retrospect, it was one of the first operations capable of bringing Marchionne and Fiat towards a merger with the Americans.
Freemont was produced at Chrysler’s Mexican plant in Toluca (where there was also a line dedicated to the 500). The model, at the time of presentation, had other specificities for the continental market, in particular in the steering and suspension set-up. Initial availability was on a 140 or 170 hp 2.0 Multijet, manufactured by Fiat Powetrain in Pratole Serra. The engine was combined with a 6-35 C manual gearbox that Fiat Powetrain built instead in the Piedmontese plant in Verrone. The only engine of American origin was the Pentastar 3.6 petrol V6 with 276 horsepower. What trips, for that Freemont: from Vera Cruz the ship headed for Livorno, where the cars were unloaded and stored in a former Chrysler plant. Now, however, his heir speaks Mandarin.