Wrangler Customization Market is Huge - Dodge Nitro Forum
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Wrangler Customization Market is Huge

Jeep pushes to increase in-house accessory sales
More parts available, and SUV may get built sooner


For several years, Mopar and Jeep have been working to extend Chrysler's reach into the Wrangler accessories market.


October 7, 2013
DETROIT -- With each new Jeep Wrangler it sells, Chrysler Group feeds a multibillion-dollar industry selling aftermarket parts and accessories.

But for most of the off-roader's history, those accessory sales went to other companies. Now Chrysler's parts and service brand wants a piece of the action.

Chrysler's Mopar brand has expanded its catalogue of Jeep accessories over the last three years. As an added incentive, orders of customers who have their Wranglers customized by the factory are given priority, which can cut delivery waiting time.

"I always remember when someone is stealing my business. That is something I never forget," said Pietro Gorlier, head of the Mopar brand.

The size of the Wrangler customization market is huge. The Specialty Equipment Market Association estimates that consumers spent more than $31 billion last year on aftermarket parts and accessories, including $6.1 billion for light trucks.

Since 2010, SEMA has recognized the Wrangler annually as the most customized 4x4 SUV on the market.


Gorlier said it is not unusual "to find people spending up to $5,000 in accessories. We touch months where we were at an average that was close to $2,000 per vehicle spent on Wranglers. And there are some people that go out and buy a new Wrangler and then spend $40,000 or more adding accessories to it."

The accessories include crated Hemi engines, floodlights, differential covers and oil pumps -- nearly everything one would need to transform a stock Wrangler into an unstoppable off-roader.

For several years, Mopar and Jeep have been working to extend Chrysler's reach into the Wrangler accessories market.

More than half of all Wranglers built in 2012 came out of the Toledo Assembly Complex with Mopar customizations. And about 7 percent of Wranglers ordered from the plant in 2012 came through the nearby Mopar Custom Shop, where larger aftermarket equipment is installed before dealer delivery.

Chrysler spokesman Bryan Zvibleman said that both percentages are tracking higher in 2013.

Mopar plans to launch about 50 products each year, adding hundreds of new part numbers to Mopar's current 450-part Jeep accessory catalogue.

Helfman River Oaks Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Houston has been doing in-house modifications to Wranglers for about three years, specializing in lift kits, which raise the body off the suspension to provide more off-road clearance. New-vehicle Sales Manager Blake Helfman said doing the Wrangler work in-house has bolstered the dealership's bottom line and improved customer service.

"When we first started, we were doing them aftermarket, and we had quality issues," Helfman said. Now the dealership averages about 20 Wrangler lift kits per month, at a cost ranging from $9,000 to $11,000. The kits include tires, wheels and other accessories.

"We like to keep five or six custom-lifted Wranglers in stock at any given time, and it really helps sell them," he said.

Over the next six months, Mopar will have "a continuous launch" of accessories for the Wrangler, each certified by the brand and thus keeping the vehicle warranty intact, Gorlier said.

Mopar plans to launch about 50 products each year, adding hundreds of new part numbers to Mopar's current 450-part Jeep accessory catalogue.

"There were things before that we were not offering. Now we are able to offer a good 90 percent of what an enthusiast would want," Gorlier said.

For dealers, Mopar's expansion into aftermarket parts and accessories for the Wrangler can mean added training costs for service technicians. Gorlier said Mopar plans to "identify the dealers that are more engaged in off-road," and offer further certifications for technicians at those dealerships.

The factory is also trying to help out in other, less obvious ways.

Gorlier said: "One of the first things we had to do was to start writing better instructions for our parts, not only for the qualified technician, but also for the do-it-yourselfer."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/2013...#ixzz2h0pvmokT
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Rick

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