Chrysler Group\'s Mopar parts and service brand is preparing to give a good fight to independent producers who are hoping to get a bigger share in the aftermarket accessory segment by bringing 23½ customized vehicles to the SEMA show in Las Vegas at the end of this month. Among the customized vehicles that Mopar will display are a Race Yellow Mopar Viper, a Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser with teak-trimmed roof rack and floormats and beach towel inserts sewn into the seats, and a Dodge Charger powered by the Viper\'s 650-hp V-10 engine. In addition, Mopar will introduce a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. Mopar customized half and to divide the two halves, there’s a large zipper down the hood.
Pietro Gorlier, Mopar\'s global chief, said that customizing a car continues to be one of the top 5 reasons for purchasing a car. Gorlier didn’t give a specific dollar amount for its total sales for aftermarket accessories, which stand for between 10 and 15% of its overall sales. He said that Mopar’s overall sales doubled from 2009 to 2011.
Mopar has been integrated into Fiat as its parts and service brand. Gorlier added that each new vehicle launched by either Chrysler or Fiat will be offered with at least 100 custom accessories. This month, Gorlier will go to Italy to be involved in the Fiat Panda 4x4’s launch. This is the first new Fiat vehicle to be launched in Europe with customized Mopar parts available. Since Gorlier was appointed as Mopar’s chief after the 2009 bankruptcy of Chrysler, he has been urging dealers to expand weekend service hours, first on Saturdays and later on Sundays. He said that Saturday service hours are now offered by 80% of U.S. Chrysler dealerships.