Things are pick­ing up

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - NEWS - CRAIG DUFF

MOPAR will set up shop in Aus­tralia when the next gen­er­a­tion Jeep Wran­gler ar­rives late next year.

Fiat Chrylser parts and ser­vice boss Pi­etro Gor­lier says the par­al­lels be­tween Aus­tralian and Amer­i­can Jeep cus­tomers in­di­cate a ver­sion of Mopar’s Cus­tom Shops would work Down Un­der.

In the US, 98 per cent of Wran­glers are or­dered with at least one Mopar ac­ces­sory.

Gor­lier has yet to de­ter­mine whether the Mopar pres­ence would amount to a phys­i­cal site or whether lo­cal deal­ers would or­der cus­tomised ve­hi­cles from one of the 10 US fac­to­ries.

“The de­mand is there, I just need to un­der­stand the ma­tu­rity of the mar­ket in or­der­ing,” he says.

“We will come out with some­thing be­cause Aus­tralia is a mar­ket with the char­ac­ter­is­tics to re­ally mir­ror some of what we do in the US.”

The move is part of a re­newed push by the Fiat Chrysler-owned busi­ness to max­imise both new ac­ces­sory sales and restora­tion parts.

Gor­lier cites Mopar’s abil­ity to de­sign ac­ces­sories dur­ing a ve­hi­cle’s de­vel­op­ment as a ma­jor ad­van­tage the com­pany needs to ex­ploit.

“As much as I like to see hun­dreds of Wran­glers ac­ces­sorised by other com­pa­nies, I like to try to get most of that busi­ness be­cause our port­fo­lio will be even more specif­i­cally de­signed for the new Wran­gler,” he says.

The next-gen Wran­gler will have a two-door ute vari­ant, widely tipped to be based on the four-door body.

“We have been the ones teas­ing ev­ery­one with Wran­gler pick-ups in the past. In Aus­tralia our JK-8 kit, which con­verted a Wran­gler into a pick-up, was very suc­cess­ful. Aus­tralia was the sec­ond high­est mar­ket be­hind the US so I think the pick-up is per­fect,” Gor­lier says.

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