While we seem to be on the eve of an electrification revolution in the auto industry, Dodge is doing something different. They are bringing back “Direct Connection” and their Power Brokers dealer network, but why? Those facets of the auto company only seem to propel internal combustion engine excitement despite Dodge dropping the Challenger and moving to an electric muscle car platform in the near future (2024).
Needless to say, the timing for this resurrection seems a bit off but there is a reason, a logical one. Per our own MC&T alumnus Lucas Bell, now over at Road & Track, Dodge sees an opportunity to update their otherwise dated Mopar catalog and bring enthusiasts, once lost to the aftermarket place, back to Dodge. The performance aftermarket space is massive, a $23 billion industry according to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, it makes sense Dodge wants a piece of the pie. Furthermore, Dodge realizes that there is a disparity in parts quality between manufacturer and aftermarket. If you install an aftermarket piece wrong on your Challenger Hellcat for example, your local Dodge dealer might not be suited to assist in the repair, that’s frustrating, Dodge wants to mend that.
The Dodge Direct Connection catalog will offer 200-plus parts and will be backed by a warranty from the company, exclusively installed through the brand’s select Power Brokers dealer network. These facilities will be performance oriented in nature, and be your go to source for helping you build the muscle car of your dreams, although it won’t be cheap. Vehicles that utilize these Power Brokers will receive a three-year or 36,000-mile new vehicle warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. For the racetrack fans, Dodge is also offering a Challenger Drag Pak option giving you the ability to build your own non street-legal Drag Challenger with a Hellephant engine, if you wanted.
CEO Tim Kuniskis also revealed that the timing of this Direct Connection renewal can be seen as “in anticipation of” the drop off in service and maintenance revenue for the company as electrification begins to take center stage. Reading between the lines: as vehicles become more and more locked down, and harder and harder to tune and modify, the only avenue of modify a performance EV could be an authorized upgrade from the Stellantis mothership, which could exclusively be installed through its participating dealer network.
Tim didn’t say all of that. But we have a pretty good crystal ball.