Slow sales prompt Chrysler to cut output of SRT Viper

Article by Anita Panait, on October 4, 2013

Chrysler Group has reduced the production of the SRT Viper sports coupe by a third due to slow sales, increasing inventories, and the start of colder weather. Chrysler is also reassigning a still unknown number of workers at its Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit to other plants.  The workers were already informed of the move, which will not result to layoffs, according to a Chrysler spokeswoman. 

Under a revised production schedule, Chrysler will build six Vipers per day, down from the average of nine units per day. According to Ralph Gilles, head of the SRT brand, the Viper's delivery to Chrysler's 443 SRT-certified dealers experienced delays earlier this year due to difficulties in achieving internal quality standards set for the exotic sports coupe.

Gilles admitted that Chrysler had a late start for the rollout of the SRT Viper, which was originally scheduled for shipment in late 2012. The initial shipment of 67 units only occurred in April 2013.

The carmaker has lifted its self-imposed quality standards over the summer and shipped over 200 held Vipers to its SRT dealers in July and August. Gilles remarked that they “typically do very well” with the Viper in early spring.  

Chrysler unveiled the reengineered two-seat 2013 Viper in April 2012 at the New York auto show, but it was only rolled out in early 2013. The Viper is powered by Chrysler’s most dynamic powerplant -- a naturally aspirated V-10 that provides 640 hp of output and 600 pounds-feet of torque.  

The 2014 SRT Viper carries a starting price of $104,480, including destination, plus a "track day" of professional driving instruction. Gilles had said that Viper output would be limited to 2,000 vehicles annually, but recently remarked that the figure number was optimistic.

He remarked that they are making sure that they don’t overbuild, considering the standing of such car in the current economy and how Chrysler controls the market. Chrysler built 805 Vipers for the 2013 model year, and has now shifted to producing 2014 models.

Topics: dodge, dodge viper, srt, sales

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