This image seen today in Facebook and published by Ferd is clearly a rendering, but one that makes us think. What if the new Fiat Toro, the future C segment pick-up FCA is about to present in Brazil, spins off a new SUV? The rendering even names the new SUV: Freemont, currently Fiat’s badge engineering for the Dodge Journey. And there will surely be room for such a vehicle when Journey exits the market.
The problem is that Fiat has said it had no interest in entering the SUV market in order not to get in the way of Jeep. The brand intends to become more international and has established a factory in Goiana, in the Brazilian State of Pernambuco, in order to produce the Renegade and the new Compass, as well as the Toro, for Fiat. All three vehicles are produced over the SUSW platform.
Creating a Toro SUV, or a Freemont, as the rendering shows, would allow Fiat to have its own contender in a pretty important market segment. But why wouldn’t the brand also want its own version of Renegade? Fiat does have the 500X, but not for the Brazilian market, much smaller than the one Europe or the USA represent. To make things worse, it is a shrinking market, due to the economic disorder the country faces. Selling any vehicle in any market segment can eat sales from the other brands, but it can also affect FCA’s own results.
Another important question: if Fiat has “badge engineered” the Journey, why would it not do the same with the new Compass? It would cost way less than creating an entire new SUV out of the Toro.
This is why a Toro-Freemont may look very interesting and even desirable, but it is not going to happen. Not without a major change in the Brazilian economy or with foreign markets interested in such a vehicle. And we don’t see any to which it could be exported nowadays. Not any, at least, that the new Compass could not handle.