Dodge Caliber to Be Built in China
The Caliber is already available in the Asian country as an import model made in Mexico. By producing it in China, the company hopes it will be able to offer a vehicle that is much more price-competitive with other crossovers like the Kia Sportage, the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson(ix35).
The fist cars made in China should arrive on the market late 2011 or early 2012 and will be just one of the many Dodge and Jeep products made on production lines in China. The Chinese joint-venture partner, Guangzhou Automobile, will start building the Caliber at its assembly plant in Hunan province. It is hoped the venture will build and sell as many as 300,000 cars a year by 2014.
The Chinese version of the Caliber will have unique front styling and perhaps some interior changes, to keep it consistent with the brand image in China. But it will be based on the larger US version of the platform, rather than the slightly smaller Fiat version from Europe.
A new generation model should be introduced in the US, most likely at the next Detroit Auto Show in January 2012, according to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. The replacement is likely to be a convectional sedan, rather than a five-door hatchback, like the current version.