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Youth market sought as Chrysler seeks to pump up Mopar performance-parts brand


By DIANA T. KURYLKO | Automotive News



Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche introduced Mopar Speed Shops to members of the Specialty Equipment Market Association last week.
LAS VEGAS - The Chrysler group moved to burnish the recognition factor of its Mopar aftermarket division here last week, designating it as a brand and urging dealers to use it to get back into the youth-oriented, performance-parts business.

Although Mopar retains an identity among owners of old Chrysler muscle cars, said Christine Cortez, vice president of global service and parts, it has little recognition among the young performance-oriented buyers portrayed in the hit movie The Fast and the Furious.

"It is the rallying cry of the muscle group, but we have not reached the Fast and Furious crowd, the XXX crowd, the youth and the new buying public," she said.

More than 3,000 dealers attending the Chrysler group's national dealer meeting here were shown the prototype for an in-showroom performance-parts operation.

To be called Mopar Speed Shops, they will stock such parts as turbo kits for the PT Cruiser and emphasize performance enhancements for current vehicles, not prior-generation ones, Cortez said.

"They are for today's vehicles, rather than our heritage," she said. "They include suspension parts and partnerships with exterior specialists to help fuel the passion of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge ownership."

The new shops, designed by Peter Arnell, creator of the Niketown and Donna Karan stores, should be in about 100 dealerships in 2003, she said.

Mopar also will be tied for the coming year to an Internet racing game called Nitto.com, where 1 million users are registered, said Cortez.

The attempted Mopar revival is tied to the launch of new vehicles from Chrysler's Performance Vehicle Operations, a unit that develops high performance models of production vehicles.

The unit will introduce a Neon-based SRT-4 late this year, followed by the Dodge Ram SRT-10 in 2003. Parts used on the high-performance vehicles will be sold through Mopar so owners can create their own versions of the Performance Vehicle Operations vehicles piece by piece.
 

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I have a feeling those speed shops will not do to well. They will probably have car salesman behind the counter trying to push stuff on you. Giving you b.s. speeches about how ignition systems give you 20 h.p...and everything will be over priced. Today, most after market performance shops are run BY enthusiasts FOR enthusiasts (and for the most part they are helpful). Those speed shops will be run by "them"...salesman just trying to make a buck. I hope they prove me wrong...cause it would be cool :cry:
 

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i think that i will have to disagree with you man.......i think there will be some training involved in the speedshops........and it will vary place to place some might be like that but i belive that that most part will be very professional......but we will see
 

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Hemi,

What is it with you. If Dodge farts the wrong wan you already know about it. I see alot of your posts refering to what Dodge is doing etc. YOu must have maffia connections.


For sure I will see the regular parts guy selling the pieces. Now is the time for some of you gear heads to fill out an application with your Local dodge parts counter so you can represent!
 

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Hey exhaust, am I invisible? :( I've posted many times that I will help you guys out if you need certain parts. I am a service advisor at a Dodge dealership and get 10% above cost. Just let me know.
 

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Some of us are in with the parts guys and already get that price. :wink: If any one isn’t you can save lots of money by having a conection like nighcore getting parts for you even paying the shipping costs.
 

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Don't worry nighcore, you are one of the first people on my list to go see when I get the chance to get this car :roll: Connections are an enthusiasts best friend!
hemidakota said:
Parts used on the high-performance vehicles will be sold through Mopar so owners can create their own versions of the Performance Vehicle Operations vehicles piece by piece.
It's not just a shop for the SRT series, it's for anyone looking to do something w/ their Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, weather it be a car, minivan, or jeep. I have a good feeling that these people will be trained. Either that or they'll hire anyone experinced in tuning. Maybe I'll just buy an R/T and make my "own version" of the SRT! :D
 

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boostedneonsrt4 said:
i think that i will have to disagree with you man.......i think there will be some training involved in the speedshops........and it will vary place to place some might be like that but i belive that that most part will be very professional......but we will see

I hope your right....cause it seems like Mopar is really trying to get connected with the todays enthusiast. They are even sponsoring that huge mopar drag strip in california.
 

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Are these puppies going to be in Five Stars only? Hope not, my local dealer, whom I would not trust to fart, has one guy in the parts section who rocks. Try walking into a dealer to get parts for a GLHS. "Huh? It's an 87 Charger right? Not quite? What do you mean, Shelby?" Pat has broken out the microfiche and dug deep into the system for me. Good guy.
 

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GLHS837 said:
Are these puppies going to be in Five Stars only? Hope not, my local dealer, whom I would not trust to fart, has one guy in the parts section who rocks. Try walking into a dealer to get parts for a GLHS. "Huh? It's an 87 Charger right? Not quite? What do you mean, Shelby?" Pat has broken out the microfiche and dug deep into the system for me. Good guy.

Damn I really want a GLHS
 

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Keep your eyes open, they go up for sale on a regular basis. One or two a month on Ebay. Also, check out Turbododge.com, the for sale section has them. I got mine for $750, kinda running, but it's taking a lot of work to make it right. But a blast to drive.
 

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Keep the scoop flowin Hemi et al,

My dealer is gonna' think that my wifes' maiden name is Mopar with the info you guys supply! :clap:
 

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XXX and Fast and the Furious!!!!!


Hope Dodge isn't looking to these for the right "youth" market.


And BIG mistake on not supporting previous vehicles (1st and 2nd gen Neons).
 

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Any More info on the Speed Shops

In Columbia MD in the office park where I work, one of the offices down from mine has almost all chrysler vehicles parked in front of it. They had three yellow srt-4's with blue "MoparSpeedShop.com" graphics on them, when I drove by they only had one outside today.

Have they opened any of the speed shops yet?
 
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