FORTEC4x4: A Niche Business with a Big Impact
Jeep customization brings in customers from near and far.
Mosey around the area of Hill Street and Oak Street and you'll pass by an unassuming business you've perhaps seen for many years, yet haven't asked yourself, "What exactly is this place?" Identifiable in its branded grey color scheme, this business blends in with its surroundings well. But, make no mistake, this is a spot that cranks out business and brings in plenty of customers from all over the country. Enter FORTEC4x4, one of the most highly-touted Jeep customization shops in the southeast, right here in the heart of Roswell.
In this blogpost, we chat with FORTEC owner Andreas Ulber to learn more about how he got his start, why Jeeps, and what type of impact this niche business makes in our community.
Visit Roswell: Andreas, tell us about the history of FORTEC, when you became operational and why you chose Roswell as the location to have your business.
Ulber: Since I was a kid, I have always loved Jeeps, and was especially intrigued by the ones with big tires and wheels. My love for Jeeps is what motivated me to start my own business. In 1991, in the basement of my father’s house on the south side of Roswell while I was a student in college, FORTEC Custom Jeeps was born. My first client was Roswell Jeep located on Alpharetta Highway. I managed to convince the dealership to offer customized Jeep packages as an option and from this suggestion soon after, FORTEC customized its first Jeep and the rest was history. The customized Jeep package options at Roswell Jeep gained the attention of other area dealerships which helped to grow FORTEC into what it is today. After 30 years at the same location, 830 Ellis Street in Roswell, it is with immense pride that FORTEC remains the first and oldest custom Jeep shop in the southeast.
Visit Roswell: What’s unique about your model and why so many customers choose to support your business?
Ulber: FORTEC is a proven innovative leader in the custom Jeep experience. While we welcome the opportunity to showcase our expertise, we don’t shy away from competition, as our company has been at the forefront for many years in offering quality conversion services as well as being a Jeep dealership alternative.
Visit Roswell: With regard to your customer base, we can imagine you pull from a lot of different areas based on the quality of the work you do. Can you tell us a little about where all these people are coming from, and how many come back to you for repeat business? Do you get customers from other states?
Ulber: Jeep drivers are very social people and “Word of Mouth” is probably how we get most of our customers. We often have customers that buy a Jeep and customize it to their liking, and then drive the Jeep for a few years, sell it, and eventually miss their Jeep so much that they start all over with a new Jeep. We work with several dealerships in the Atlanta area adding custom packages to new Jeeps that the dealerships then sell to their customers. We have customers all over the United States. Sometimes Jeeps are even shipped to us for conversion packages. We once had the opportunity to create a custom package on a new Jeep that was shipped to Germany in the cargo area of a Delta airplane. The tires had to be deflated to not exceed the height limit for the plane’s cargo area. We enjoy having exotic and exciting projects.
Visit Roswell: A lot of people probably drive by FORTEC each day and don’t realize the amount of business coming in and out of it. How many jobs would you say you perform per week, and could you provide some insight into some more extensive Jeep builds that generate a lot of revenue?
Ulber: The Roswell Georgia and Pompano Beach, Florida FORTEC locations collectively customize about 1000 jeeps a year. We offer a variety of custom packages beginning at $1,500 that go from our small accessory package to more extensive customization investments that sometimes may exceed the cost of the Jeep. We completed a customization in 2020 on a Gladiator model that totaled $200K. This model included 1000 hp and was built at the Roswell location over the course of several months.
Visit Roswell: Is there one particular area where FORTEC really shines? Or, do you pride yourselves on figuring out solutions for any request from your customers?
Ulber: We pride ourselves on providing the highest levels of expertise and stellar customer service. Our specialties are 1976 to current Jeep models, which we refer to as “Jeep Jeeps”. This term simply means that these vehicles are not Grand Cherokees or other platforms, as FORTEC strictly adheres to the Jeep Wrangler platform.
As a longtime Roswell business we are looking forward to displaying our craft at the local Alive in Roswell festival on Canton St. next summer. We may even get a spot this season if we get lucky.
FORTEC is located at 830 Ellis St., Roswell, GA 30075. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM and Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00. FORTEC has an active YouTube channel, which can be found here. For more information, check out the FORTEC website at https://fortec4x4.com/. Additionally, you can find them on Instagram here.