The Return of Mopar
Parts division aims to become synonymous with Chrysler once again.
Written by Kirk Bell
Fans of drag racing and 1960s muscle cars may recognize the Mopar name. But to many it holds little meaning. A contraction of the words “motor” and “parts,” the Mopar badge first appeared on a brand of antifreeze in 1937. It became the name Chrysler’s auto-parts division in the early 1960s, and by the middle of the decade, Mopar had become synonymous with Chrysler itself. In fact, owners of Dodge Chargers and Plymouth Barracudas started referring to their cars as Mopars, not Chrylers or Dodges, implying that the label was more weighty than the names of the parent brands. But in the 1970s, the brand fell into obscurity. But if Chrysler has its way, it won’t be obscure for long.
Mopar's main focus will still be parts, but now it will offer more special-edition models and accessories than ever before so consumers can customize their Chrysler Group ride any way they want. The brand released the Mopar '10 Challenger for the 2010 model year and the Mopar '11 Charger last year, each meant to pay tribute to the history of Mopar performance cars. But at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, Mopar upped its game even further by unveiling four new custom models.
The Mopar '12 300 is a ready-made production car limited to 500 units for $49,700 each. It is a Chrysler 300 with a blacked-out look highlighted by blue accents. It is equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, stiffer springs and a revised axle ratio to make it quicker off the line. Inside, it gets an all-black interior with Katzkin leather seats, matte carbon accents, a 506-watt Alpine audio system and Chrysler 8.4-inch UConnect Touch control screen.
Mopar also revealed three other Mopar Customs at Chicago to demonstrate what can be done with the company's line of parts and accessories. They were the Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute, Jeep Compass True North and Fiat 500 Stinger. These vehicles won't be offered as production cars, but buyers can choose any or all of their parts individually or in packages. By showing off these cars, Mopar hopes to inspire buyers to personalize their cars and is looking for feedback on the popularity of the parts and their designs.
Mopar CEO Pietro Gorlier says the increased focus on Mopar is part of an effort to refocus Chrysler toward the best customer experience: "Our mission really is to be an additional weapon for every brand, where you sell a car, but then you have a parallel brand that is helping you to sell the accessories, to give the experience with the after sales, to give the experience in the service lane. My vision is when I buy a Dodge I get also the Mopar service and parts.”
Since Fiat leadership took control of Chrysler in 2009, Mopar has gone global. It now has a presence in more than 120 countries, and the Mopar catalog boasts around 500,000 parts across all 10 of the Chrysler Group and Fiat brands. That includes replacement and repair parts, but the dealer-backed accessories are more evident to new-car buyers. With the release of 16 new or significantly updated U.S. models last year, Mopar added 2,000 accessories that buyers can use to personalize their cars. The new Dodge Dart will have an additional 150 accessories, twice as many as any other compact car.
I'd like to see the Dodge site showcase some o the older models too, support an stats, its like the stuff before '09 don't exist...out with the old an in with the new...don't forget about where ya come from..."tired of being carried around in Henry Ford's vest pocket"
I own a '05 Dodge Neon SXT, love my car, things I'd like to add, take away, change completely, but most of all I'd like to see some pride in the Dodge brand, if you have the Mitsubishi era Dodge be proud, Daimler era drive it with your head up, MOPAR give us more for all of Dodge, Quality, Pride, and a Price that will inspire.
Why can't they make a 2 door coupe
They do. The Challenger is basically a short wheelbase 2 door Charger.
Drag racing and 1960s muscle cars were all 2 door models
Why can't they make a 2 door coupe
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