Mopar Makes It Special
Jeep Gladiator with extensive Mopar mods at the 2019 Moab Jeep Safari (Images: FCA)
Mark Bosanac is the head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA-North America. Prior to getting this position in April, Bosanac was head of NAFTA Supply Cain Management and Global Parts SCM & Operations. Which is to say that the man knows a whole lot about parts and services, which is certainly required for his position at Mopar, which is continuously creating new parts and accessories for FCA vehicles.
What’s notable, Bosanac explains, is that these components are designed and engineered by people working with the teams that create the original vehicles in question. Consequently, they can be integrated like the proverbial hand-in-glove with the vehicles they are made for. And as there are more than 500,000 parts and accessories, those looking to personalize their FCA vehicles have an extensive catalog from which to choose.
Mopar ‘10 Challenger
One interesting aspect of Mopar and the rest of the FCA operations, Bosanac explains on this edition of “Autoline After Hours,” is that there are 14 upfitting operations that are located in the vicinity of FCA assembly plants.
So if someone goes to their local, say, Dodge or Jeep dealer and orders a vehicle with extensive Mopar mods, then the vehicle in question is sent to one of those facilities where it is equipped, then sent back to the assembly plant for shipment to the dealer.
Although Bosanac says that an increasing part of Mopar’s business has to do with service—and he says that they’re even going toward over-the-air updates in some instances—it is probably most widely known for the performance parts that the company began developing in the 1960s.
For the past decade Mopar has been putting out special editions of muscle cars. The first was the Mopar ’10 Challenger, followed by the ’11 Dodge Charger, ’12 Chrysler 300, ’13 Dodge Dart (here’s how time is passed: one feature of that car is “industry-first” wireless charging for smartphones), ’14 Challenger (of which only 100 were made), ’15 Charger, ’16 Ram 1500, ’17 Challenger, ’18 Durango, and ’19 Challenger (of which there are going to be 100 built, 90 for the U.S. market and 10 for the Canadian).
The Jeep brand is a place where there is plenty of Mopar, with the Jeep Gladiator becoming the most-Mopar-modified vehicle in the lineup, eclipsing the long-time personalization champ, the Wrangler.
Bosanac talks with Autoline’s John McElroy, Bob Gritzinger of Ward’s Intelligence and me on the show.
Then the three of us discuss a variety of other subjects, including the implications of the Chinese tariffs, the passing of Ferdinand Piech, the indictment of former Google and Uber exec Anthony Levandowski, and a whole lot more.
All of which you can see right here.
(Yes, the latest: Mopar ‘19, a Challenger painted “White Knuckle.”)
Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.