Over the last few months, I’ve reviewed a few new Chrysler vehicles that had little graphics on their windshields — the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, for instance, has a graphic of an old military Jeep climbing the side of the windshield (pictured above), while the new 2018 Dodge Demon has a graphic of a car doing a burnout like it’s at a drag strip. But what’s the point of those graphics?
Well, they look cool, of course — and people have responded to them very favorably, pleased that they can spot an automotive "Easter egg" that not everyone may notice. But that isn’t the only reason Chrysler does it.
A few weeks ago I got an email from an "insider" in the Chrysler production process, and he told me something interesting. According to him, "because the logo is trademarked, third-party suppliers can’t supply it." This next bit is obvious: "FCA found that just that little graphic made owners roughly three times more likely to a replace a windshield with a Mopar part (as opposed to a generic windshield) as they had been before that graphic was added."
Yes, it’s true: While Chrysler seemingly put the logos on the glass to appeal to drivers, the drivers liked the logos so much that they insist on keeping them — even at greater expense, should it come time to replace the windshield. Of course, as the Jeep Wrangler has a higher proportion of windshield replacements than a standard vehicle (owing to its upright design and the off-roading proclivities of its owners), this means more money in FCA’s pocket.
I mentioned all this last week when I was discussing the Dodge Demon, but I felt it deserved special repeating, because it’s kind of an interesting phenomenon. Who ever could’ve thought that a little graphic in the corner of a windshield could actually become a way to make extra money in parts? It’s a brilliant idea, and it seems to be working out well — because who wouldn’t want their windshield to have a little Jeep climbing up the side of the A-pillar?
Interestingly, a few companies seem to have sprouted up selling little decals with a little Wrangler you can mount on your windshield — should you choose a generic replacement rather than a genuine FCA part. But to many people, it apparently just isn’t the same. Find a Chrysler for sale or Find a Jeep for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.