Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mopar Contract Opens New Doors for Tulsa-Based Stillwater Designs

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mopar Contract Opens New Doors for Tulsa-Based Stillwater Designs

Article excerpt

A new contract with Chrysler promises to open new markets for Stillwater Designs.

The Stillwater-based manufacturer of Kicker audio systems will supply audio upgrade kits to Mopar Performance Parts, Chrysler's original equipment parts manufacturer. Mopar will distribute these for sale and installation at individual Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealerships.

"No one's done this before," said Steve Irby, owner of Stillwater Designs. "We're gearing up for some moderate numbers to start with, if you compare it with our after-market business. We hope that it will grow, but nobody knows."

Irby said these premium systems are based on Kicker kits originally developed for installation in Chrysler's SRT program. Since those high-performance versions of regular models comprise a small portion of Chrysler's production, the new agreement promises to greatly expand Kicker's sales.

Injecting the Stillwater company's products into dealership parts departments and service bays also opens a new nationwide sales outlet for Kicker.

"We think it can be a good business for us, but it's in the infancy stages," he said. Because of that, he was reluctant to project a sales impact. "But we think it's got great potential. The Mopar dealer network - basically Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep - have not typically sold add-on systems."

These three-stage kits designed for plug-and-play installation will provide the highest-output system available from Mopar, delivering from 400 to 768 watts of bass - which is not surprising, since Kicker built its reputation on delivering quality bass.

"This is cutting-edge OEM design innovation for a high- performance vehicle audio system," said Chris Cortez, Chrysler's senior vice president of global service and parts.

While Irby expects the deal to boost his employment over the long haul, the increase will be limited since the company outsources most of its parts manufacturing overseas. …

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