wants its dealers to add more Mopar tie-ins at their stores.
Dealers are being asked to put up branded displays throughout their facilities to improve customer experiences and boost awareness of the auto maker’s parts and accessories brand, Pietro Gorlier, Mopar president and CEO tells WardsAuto.
The program, FlexTech, offers dealers flexible, Mopar-branded merchandising displays, furniture and graphics for showrooms, customer-waiting areas, retail shops and service departments.is calling on dealers to gauge their interest in the various FlexTech kits.
Ideally, the auto maker would like a Mopar presence in all areas of a dealership, says Tricia Hecker, who heads marketing for the brand, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
Mopar was trademarked in 1937 for a Chrysler antifreeze brand, but grew in the 1960s when it officially became a company division and started offering performance-package cars.
But more recently, underownership, Mopar added service and customer-care offerings for all Chrysler vehicles.
“Everyone knows Mopar for parts, but there’s a lack of awareness for service,” Hecker says. “If we can keep the customer loyal to Mopar, we can keep them coming back.”
Mopar plans to win more awareness about its offerings by participating in more vehicle shows this year, 65 compared with 10 last year.
The brand also is relying on social media to get the message out. Mopar has 140,000 Facebook friends and its fan base continues to grow, Gorlier says.
The FlexTech dealership kits include a 9-panel “brand exploration wall” with a Mopar timeline. Dealers can change the magnetic panels for special promotions or other events.
Dealers also can opt for a Retail Shop, with flexible racks to display everything from Mopar-branded merchandise to Mopar parts. To celebrate its 75-year mark, the brand is adding a line of merchandise with retro logos, an anniversary badge and gift sets.
For waiting rooms, Mopar is offering branded furniture, such as end tables with outlets for charging phones or laptops, basic seating or luxury chairs. There’s an array of wall graphics and individual workstations for customers.
In the service area, dealers can opt for Mopar lane-floor graphics, overhead signs and brushed aluminum desks for staffers. There also are online media centers with service information and videos about parts and accessories.
“It's not going to cost dealers a lot and it’s not a facility requirement,” Hecker says, declining to reveal specifics.
The designs of the branded Mopar kits are simple to contain costs to retailers, or dealers may decide just to offer brochures on a customized rack, she says.
Tom Barenboim, a dealer in Metheun, MS, recently purchased a retro-looking Mopar sign with light-emitting diode illumination for his store.
“I like the idea because it's a branding opportunity,” says Barenboim, president of Clark Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.
He’s also pleased that the auto maker “has been more like a partner” on this initiative and not “pushing and shoving.”
Dealer Alan Spitzer of Spitzer Auto Group in Elyria, OH, wants to know more about his costs for the Mopar-branded goods.
But he's not opposed to the plan. “Mopar has been a pretty strong brand over the years,” he says. “They are trying to put more emphasis on it, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.”