Chrysler will suspend production of the SRT Viper supercar for two months starting April 14, Automotive News reported yesterday. The decision, which will force Chrysler to temporarily lay off 91 workers at its Conner Avenue plant in Michigan, is reportedly due in part to low SRT Viper sales.
In all of 2013, Chrysler sold just 591 units of the SRT Viper. And in January and February of this year, the 640-hp Viper racked up just 91 sales. According to Automotive News, Chrysler has so many unsold Vipers that it has a 412-day supply of the sports car. It’s worth noting, though, that sales of high-powered cars like the SRT Viper tend to decline in winter.
"The SRT Viper is a hand-crafted American exotic car," Chrysler said in an emailed statement. "It has never been intended to be a mass-production vehicle as less than 29,000 vehicles have been produced in the past 20 years. The ability to increase and decrease production at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant allows the company to continue to meet our customers' desire to keep these special cars exclusive. Customer and dealer demand for the SRT Viper continues at expected levels."
At last month’s Chicago auto show, SRT brand president Ralph Gilles also downplayed any concerns that SRT Viper sales were falling behind expectations.
"I don't know why the whole world is so worried about Viper sales," he told Automobile last month. "It's an exotic… We're focused on exclusivity, it's not about cranking out a bunch of chocolates.”