The ACR model of the Dodge Viper SRT10 sports car, for instance, is essentially "sold out," Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press said on Monday. But it's precisely the sad economy and investment atmosphere, Press said, that is spurring Viper sales. Custom, handcrafted Vipers have come out as a target of an growing number of sponsors.
"Those customers are in a high-income group, and [a Viper] is a safe haven," Press said. "Look at what's happened in their stock portfolios: The resale value of Vipers shows they're still in great demand. Smart investors figure out it's a safe place to put their money — and also have a lot of fun."
Generally, Chrysler continues to vend about 100 Vipers per month (the standard Viper is sold for $85,000 or Euro 65,785 while the ACR version costs $105,000 or Euro 81,270), including in October, when total industry sales were down by 32 percent and Chrysler's corporate-wide sales went down by about the same amount, in contrast with last October.
Debuted earlier this year, the ACR, or American Club Racer, model of the vehicle has "met expectations in production," Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa said, by way of enlightening Press' "sold-out" categorization. "Dealers still have them, and they are available."
The website will use a mixture of articles, blogs, forum discussion, a Wikipedia-style user-edited knowledge base and a complete voting system to turn user input into a feasible vehicle design.
According to Chrysler, there are quite a few limitations in place for the new vehicle. The company is also seeking increased environmental awareness, and plans to survey alternative methods of propulsion, such as electric and hybrid technologies.
Once the specifications are agreed upon, Chrysler will seek to create a model vehicle which could become an addition to its model lineup as early as 2011. Preliminary registration is now open with the project scheduled to begin early in 2009.