Why 2020 Ram 1500 Buyers Will Love FCA's New Mopar 'Custom Shops'
Nearly every vehicle buyer wants to do something to personalize their new ride. That is especially true for truck buyers. Mopar estimates that 90 percent of Ram 1500 owners have customized some aspect of his or her truck. Many new truck buyers are ordering their new vehicles with special packages of accessories and upgrades. That is why Mopar has built new ‘Custom Shops’ that are focusing on customizing 2020 Ram 1500 trucks.
Custom Shops Specialize on Difficult Procedures
According to Kim Mathers, Mopar’s head of accessories and performance, the Custom Shops specialize on intricate procedures and the types of things that are difficult to complete on the production line. The Custom Shops have special spray booths for spray-in truck bed liners. They also have special areas for applying graphics packages and pin-striping. Rather than having different workers who have to accomplish everything, the shops have certain workers who can focus on doing a few things very, very well.
Custom Shops Mean Original Equipment Manufacturer Quality
The result is that the ‘Custom Shops’ can achieve beautiful results that comply with OEM standards and are covered by factory warranties. Often, changes like lift kits made by aftermarket companies void manufacturer warranties.
To illustrate what the new Custom Shops can do, Mathers made her presentation, to members of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, next to a 2019 Ram 1500 that had $12,000 worth of Mopar upgrades. The production Big Horn model was hardly recognizable. The brilliant blue truck was all lifted. It had cool fender flares and special off-road running boards that were powder coated to make them extra durable. It had a spray-in bedliner and locking ramboxes. The special Ram light bar had two sets of off-road LEDs that tied in to one button on the dash, making the lights easily accessible. Some aftermarket equipment may require extra switches or can be cumbersome to turn on.
Building Accessories into the Overall Cost of the 2020 Ram 1500
According to Mathers, most if not all of the extra equipment on the display truck could be ordered as a dealer pre-load. In other words, you could order it when you buy the truck from the dealer and it could be added in one of the Custom Shops. That can come in incredibly handy in two ways. One, all of the extra equipment would be covered by the factory warranty. Also, the extra equipment could be built into and financed as part of the truck. That way you could be paying on it, just like you pay for the truck, rather than having to come up with the cash when you add the equipment.
The 2020 Ram 1500 isn’t the only vehicle that is getting this special treatment. FCA has invested in 14 Custom Shops, so far, all located near the plants building the vehicles that they are set up to customize. The facility for the 2020 Ram 1500 is located in Sterling Heights, Michigan, right near the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, known as SHAP.
One of the Custom Shops is in Toledo, so it can customize the Jeeps, including the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Other shops are in places like Baltimore, Maryland, Belvidere, Illinois, Brampton, Ontario and Saltillo, Mexico.
When you consider that Mopar has created approximately 200 different accessories to customize the Rams, Jeep Wranglers and Jeep Gladiators, it makes sense that they are trying to make the changes as efficiently as possible. Mathers says the shops are able to complete 300-500 vehicles a day. That is a huge portion of the overall aftermarket accessories business.
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