Interview with Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of MOPAR®

Pietro Gorlier was born in Turin (Italy); he joined the Fiat Group in 1989 as a market analyst in Iveco holding various positions in logistics, in the After Sales and Customer Care, before joining Fiat Group Automobiles in 2006.

After the experience in FGA and in CNH Global N.V., he joined Chrysler Group. He is President and CEO of MOPAR® since 2009 and, from its establishment on Sep. 1, 2011; he is member of the Group Executive Council (GEC). The GEC is the highest executive decision-making body within the Company outside of its Board of Directors.

AW: How important is the Middle-East market for Mopar?
PG: You obviously know Mopar, so to tell you briefly that we consider the Middle-East the most important market after North American. There are two reasons why we consider the Middle-East the second most important market: first the market is full of American vehicles, secondly people in UAE and KSA have an incredible passion to tune/customize vehicles. We have also very good partners in both UAE and KSA. The Middle-East is a market where we see a lot of opportunities to Mopar products (currently 25,000 accessories). In the Middle-East, one of the elements we saw a potential for the business is the transition of the current customers base to the new customers base (30-50 years old) are 20% of all the automotive business. In 10 years they will be 70% of the customers' base. The business is growing and we intend to invest a lot in the Middle-East. Jeep, Dodge and Ram are already well established but in a later stage Alfa Romeo will be an interesting brand.

AW: You have many aftermarkets parts and retailers, do they affect you somehow? What incentives are you offering?
PG: In general there are more online scouting for parts/services, there is more need one-to-one service and efficient service. A customer in 10 years will never give a phone call to book an appointment but instead will show up suddenly and expect an immediate service (because that' what the customer gets at any retail shop) or look online to check for availability. So we are developing tools to change the relationship between the customer and the dealership. More specifically I'm talking about a wi-advisor, which retrieves the information from the car (mileage, previous services, etc.). We are the first in the industry to develop such a tool which is running in North America and Europe. The whole world is becoming advanced in terms of technologies so those are mainly the incentives we are offering to our customers versus other retailers.

AW: Would you consider Mopar for Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles like AMG is to Mercedes or M Division to BMW?
PG: Not exactly. AMG is essentially a performance side of Daimler and they do mainly productions cars. As Mopar we always start playing after the car is sold. We already have cloverleaf for Alfa, Abarth for Fiat, SRT for Jeep and Dodge. I know we have some tradition in performance we tend to make a clear separation and call Mopar the aftersales experience as we don't have any production vehicles.

AW: When the car is sold and the customer wants to customize its car, does it affect the warranty of the car?
PG: It depends but normally we try to work on processes that won't affect the warranty of the vehicle. There are some limited numbers of performance components that in some cases void the warranty such as performance kits for racing. But most of the time we try to do things certified.

AW: Who do you consider Mopar direct competitors?
PG: First it depends from the field. If I look at the service environment, our competitors are the independent service shops. Because they compete in attracting the customer in the second lifecycle of the car, customers go to the official dealer during the first lifecycle. And when you talk about parts, then our competitors are all the aftermarkets retails and parts shops. You have a variety of Chinese companies providing cheap or not genuine products. But from an aftersales point of view these are our main competitors.

AW: Why don't you bring and sell moparized-ready vehicles instead of letting the customers tune it themselves? TRD did it with Toyota and the people in our region prefer ready-cocked vehicles.
PG: You are extremely right. First, I know quite well and from percentage basis, most of the people will buy the ready and moparized cars in front of them such as North America but in the Middle-East we cannot open a "custom shop" as the volume is not big enough yet. Second, we always try to sell the car as stock so the customer can add up mods every month to fit his taste (stripes, bigger tires, etc.) and then this will create a kind of loyalty, addiction and connection to the brand. That's our whole point we want to create a relationship between the customer and the advisor at the dealership.

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