By Ashley Reyes
SEMA's' Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) has named Denver, Colorado-based Berg Performance as the council's newest member spotlight company. Get to know its story in the SEMA News interview with Bryan Eisenberger, Berg Performance's vice president of sales and e-commerce, below.
SEMA News: Tell us the story of your company. How did your company start?
Bryan Eisenberger: Named for the German word for mountain, Berg Performance was established in 2011 as an Audi/Volkswagen/Porsche specialty shop that's all about the people we're lucky enough to call our customers. We started out of a barn and have grown into a world-class operation. Owner Aaron Marshall delivers next-level service by taking a personal interest in ensuring every vehicle is functioning at its very best. From routine maintenance to special requests, start to finish, the customer is central at Berg Performance, a shop built to exceed Audi, VW and Porsche owners' expectations with a new standard of quality. We launched Berg Peaks, our off-road division, in 2020. We focus on building the most capable off-road vehicles possible on Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 platforms. Our first off-road Cayenne, titled Warthog, is now our shop car and our do-everything off-roader. We have since continued to build some of the most capable off-roaders out there. We recently launched our Berg Peaks off-road parts division to help everyone from everyday drivers to extreme off-roaders be able to take their platforms anywhere.
SN: What was your company's breakthrough moment?
BE: I think our breakthrough moment comes in two parts. The first was when we transitioned to our new shop. This was made possible because of our intense attention to detail and how we service our customers. We built a name for high-quality work and a passion for the customer.
The second is when we decided to build out our off-road practice. We really saw an evolution in our business and a need for high-quality off-road builds utilizing the Cayenne, Touareg and Q7 platforms. We quickly built a name for ourselves, becoming the go-to shop in the West for this type of work. This all culminated with our most in-depth and biggest build yet, the Project Pumbaa, which we featured at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. This Cayenne was not just a show car either; we built it to be used and taken off-road. We took it on a number of off-road trips, most notably to Moab, where it completed Top of the World Trail with no winching and no assistance.
SN: Tell us about your business now in 2023.
BE: We are currently building and fine-tuning four of our Cayennes to take on five of the Jeep "Badge of Honor" trails near Telluride, Colorado. If we haven't yet, this trip with only Cayennes, Touaregs and Q7s will cement these platforms as top off-roading vehicles on the market. In addition to that, we just launched our e-commerce site (bergpeaks.com), in which we have made available parts that we have developed in-house and opened up to the market to address some of the fault areas from the cars at stock, including adjustable upper control arms, air suspension lift kits which we affectionately call our OEV+ lift kits, and a number of other parts that are coming later in the year, including high-angle axles, off-road front/rear bumpers, skids, rock rails and other off-road accessories.
SN: Tell us about a product that you are proud of.
BE: That would have to be our OEV+ air suspension lift kits that I just discussed. The lift kits on the market right now are mostly body lifts with subframe drops. While that solution achieves the desired results by ultimately creating more clearance, it has a few unintended consequences. The drive and feel of the car lose that Porsche and Audi feel. Part of the reason people buy a Cayenne or Q7 is for that unique feeling while driving. You still feel like you are driving a sports car even though it is an SUV.
One of the benefits of our lift is you don't lose that driving heritage, while still gaining that much-needed clearance for off-road trails. Our goal was simple, make the car as fun to drive on road as it is off-road, and our lift does that where others don't. You still have that planted, responsive handling that you've come to expect in the Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen names. Pair that with our adjustable upper control arms and you have a fantastic platform.
SN: What advice do you have for young professionals contemplating a career in the automotive aftermarket?
BE: I think my biggest advice is to really make sure you love the industry. This career is difficult and the industry itself is a hard one. However, if you have a love for the industry, a love for the platforms, and a love for the customers, that will make even the hardest days so rewarding. For us, it really is a labor of love and passion and that is what has brought us to the point where we are today.
Fill out a TORA-member spotlight form to highlight how you or your company are contributing to the truck and off-road specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on TORA's social media, SEMA News and future TORA member updates.