Fiat Chrysler may let its dealerships open Jeep satellite stores in order to help boost sales in markets where Jeeps and SUVs are popular, Automotive News reports.
A company insider told AN the automaker may allow for satellite stores after a similar strategy worked for dealerships and Ram satellite stores. To-date, FCA has opened 37 ‘truck centers’ that specifically sell Ram products and another 28 are under development. The centers have helped boost sales in truck-heavy markets, and a similar strategy may work for Jeep.
“I’m not looking at establishing stand-alone Jeep stores outside our current structure, and I’m not looking at establishing more Jeep stores as stand-alones at all. We’re not going to add more Jeep points,” said Al Gardner, head of FCA network development.”
“Would I consider doing Jeep as a stand-alone, same structure, same business unit, same entity? Maybe. By the way, I think a whole bunch of dealers would consider it too,” Gardner added. “But it doesn’t mean that we’re going to go out and do it, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that we’re going to go out and add Jeep stores.”
A Jeep satellite store would help dealers fully take advantage of one of FCA’s strongest and hottest-selling brands and would also help to further differentiate it from other FCA brands. The similar Ram-specific centers also help the employees there become experts in a sole product and customer, rather than a jack-of-all-trades like a standard dealer.
“Putting [in] a truck center allows us to do things a little bit different and allows that customer to get a slightly different experience. We know — with just the [truck centers] we’ve put in place — that the volumes are increasing on truck and the customers are happier because they’re getting truck specialists.”