Daytona's Garage mechanics build customer loyalty – Automotive News
Customization can reinvigorate an aging nameplate, as revealed by the 300 Monaco Edition.
Daytona’s Garage, an offshoot of a Stellantis dealership in Florida, has a “let’s figure it out” approach when it comes to making dreams a reality for buyers with ambitious visions for customizing their vehicles.
This openness makes Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram’s custom shop a loyalty-builder that generates excitement among customers, said dealership owner Randy Dye.
“We owe it to the customer to be able to help them beyond just selling the car and providing warranty work,” he said. “So that has created a bit of fun, a bit of excitement, a bit of enthusiasm for the customer.”
Daytona’s Garage, a customization shop started by a Stellantis dealership in Florida, turns the dreams customers have for their vehicles into reality, going far beyond the options and accessories available from the factory.
Sometimes, Daytona’s Garage technicians end up getting ahead of the curve with their creations. Around six years ago, the team injected a jolt of horsepower into a Durango R/T that wouldn’t become factory-available until the Durango Hellcat arrived in 2021.
It all started when a customer came in looking to equip a newly purchased R/T with a special hood. So the team went to work upping the horsepower, beefing up the suspension and mounting different tires to the vehicle.
Technicians threw a supercharger in, but the additional power made effective braking an issue, so they added brake calipers and rotors from a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. That juiced the SUV to about 630 hp from its standard 360 hp.
Dye: We owe it to customers.
“It was extraordinarily cool,” Dye said. “The customer loved it.”
Daytona’s Garage doesn’t do modifications that would put people in danger or violate emissions regulations, Dye said. The team isn’t limited to Stellantis brands, either.
The shop performs more basic upgrades on its own for some new-vehicle inventory, which results in a few thousand dollars added to the price tag.
This can bring extra spunk to an aging nameplate, such as the Chrysler 300. A 300 available on the store’s site now with a $5,299 package includes window tints, blacked-out rims, a spoiler and lowering springs.
Now, “sinister” changes for one of the brand’s biggest SUVs is under consideration, including exterior tweaks and other modifications to a Jeep Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer, Dye said.
“We have maximized all of the things that Mopar has available for the after-sales part of the vehicle,” Dye said. “In addition to where Mopar doesn’t have parts, [we’re] finding the best available suppliers for the things that our customers want. It’s intended to keep the customer coming back to the dealership.”
Another customization project on tap involves a 2014 Ram 1500, Dye said. A customer brought in a photo of an early 1950s Chevrolet pickup with a flame design that he wants to base the exterior look on. He also wants a new leather interior to add life to the truck, which has around 80,000 miles on it.
Daytona’s Garage will spruce it up by adding chrome wheels, lowering the suspension, revitalizing the bed, changing out the exhaust and incorporating the modified exterior design into the interior as well.
“People come in and, kind of, over time, they may start out with this vision about what they want to do to their car, and that’s the end goal,” Dye said. “But it might take six, eight, 10, 12 months to get there based on their budget. So that’s the kind of stuff we do, and we know it adds to our customer loyalty.”
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