CHICAGO -- Chrysler Group will expand its line of Mopar-branded models to take advantage of what it sees as a growing demand for vehicle individualization.
Chrysler is three years into a campaign to spin off customized trim packages under the Mopar name, which includes performance parts and cosmetic enhancements such as wheel treatments and body decals. Last week at the Chicago Auto Show, Chrysler revealed new Mopar accessory-heavy versions of the Chrysler 300, Jeep Compass, Fiat 500 and Dodge Dart.
"We'll be doing more like this," said Jim Sassorossi, director of Mopar Parts Sales & Marketing. "Every study we do tells us that people want more customization and personalization." He said the four vehicles will arrive in showrooms in late spring.
The average Chrysler Group vehicle contained approximately $400 worth of Mopar accessories in 2011, up from less than $300 in 2010, Sassorossi said after a presentation at the Chicago show.
He said Chrysler Group dealers have discovered that Mopar versions sell faster than others and have asked for more selection. He said dealers have responded well to Chrysler's approach of retailing the trims ready-made, with the entire Mopar package spelled out in the vehicle's window sticker price rather than leaving installation up to the dealer.
"It makes it easier to finance the vehicle," he said.
The packages unveiled in Chicago for this year are the Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute, with chin spoiler and carbon-fiber hood; the Fiat 500 Stinger, featuring a black checker roof decal; the Jeep Compass True North, with matte black wheels and all-terrain tires; and the Chrysler Mopar '12 300, a refitted 300 with a performance rear axle and brakes, Mopar engine cover and black glossy wheels.