SRT Viper Production Suspended

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.”

cm_smith_12@hotmail.ca
I think Chrysler should not have necessarily spent all its time and investment into this SRT Viper.  They really should of developed a next generation Crossfire.
Dougu
Easy, The Viper should have had a minimum of 700hp. Like Ol Carrol said it was a car that didnt make any since and that was the draw of the car. Big HP in a world of mediocrity, crude, brutal and beautiful. Now its a 640hp car in a 600+hp world, like I said 700hp should be the minimum.   
Cl Reply
I don't agree with the guys calling for an automatic transmission. Sure SRT could offer one, but that's not what the Viper is about. The Vipers biggest problem is that it's overpriced for what it is. I get the fact that this is a limitied production hand built car (I use the term hand built very loosely here). But let's break it down:1. The engine is basically the same engine that's been in Vipers since the 2003 model. In 2008 it got a power boost to 600hp. The engine also was a beautiful piece of machinery. Now we have a plastic covered engine bay! A very poor decision on the part of the SRT team. One last comment, this basic engine was sold in the 2004-2006 Ram SRT-10. That vehicle cost about $50K. Nearly $100K less than the GTS model.2. Yes the interior is much improved, but it's still full of cheap plastic. Ralph Gilles says the plastic rings around vents (made to look like aluminum) were used to "save weight", I say BS... They were used because they're cheap. You want to save weight use Carbon Fiber, in a $100k+ car. The dash and center console displays are basically the same as that used in a $20k Dart. SRT made a huge deal about the seats being made by the same company that makes Ferrari seats. Big deal!! Keep the Sabelt seats and lower the price of the Viper.3. The Viper is supposed to be a power and performance benchmark. But it is outclassed and performed by so many other cars. To sell a $120-140K Viper without Carbon ceramic brakes is totally unacceptable. The brakes on all models of the Viper (except the T/A) are ill-equipped for this much power and performance. All Vipers should come standard with Carbon Ceramic brakes just like the ZR1 did in 2009!4. Fit and finish problems have plagued the Viper. Seams are uneven and plastic parts/vents falling off the car during track runs makes one question the hand built workmanship of the car.Chrysler and Mr. Gilles can publically claim that everything is right on track, but again that's just more BS. One would expect a new model would generate above average sales during its first year. Averaging 1450 units per year over the past 20 years, I would say 591 units is a major failure. At the current pace 2014 will be even less.No one is expecting SRT to build 10,000 Vipers a year. No one expects SRT to sell as many Vipers as GM sells Corvettes. However I don't believe anyone at Chrysler that tells me they are happy with 591 Vipers in the first year of a newly designed model.The fix is pretty simple, get rid of the cheap plastic parts on the Viper and replace them with carbon fiber. Get rid of the atrocious brakes and replace them with Carbon ceramic Brembo brakes. Drop the price of the GTS to $100K, and the standard Viper to $85K. Then watch Viper sales increase to an acceptable levels, and Chrysler won't have to layoff 91 very skilled workers.
Cl Reply
I don't agree with the guys calling for an automatic transmission. Sure SRT could offer one, but that's not what the Viper is about. The Vipers biggest problem is that it's overpriced for what it is. I get the fact that this is a limitied production hand built car (I use the term hand built very loosely here's). But let's break it down:1. The engine is basically the same engine that's been in Vipers since the 2003 model. In 2008 it got a power boost to 600hp. The engine also was a beautiful piece of machinery. Now we have a plastic covered engine bay! A very poor decision on the part of the SRT team. One last comment, this basic engine was sold in the 2004-2006 Ram SRT-10. That's vehicle cost about $50k.2. Yes the interior is much improved, but it's still full of cheap plastic. Ralph Gilles says the plastic rings around vents (made to look like aluminum) were used to "save weight", I say BS... They were used because they're cheap. You want to save weight use Carbon Fiber, in a $100k+ car. The dash and center console displays are basically the same as that used in a $20k Dart. SRT made a huge deal about the seats being made by the same company that makes Ferrari seats. Big deal!! Keep the Sabelt seats and lower the price of the Viper.3. The Viper is supposed to be a power and performance benchmark. But it is outclassed and performed by so many other cars. To sell a $140k Viper without Carbon ceramic brakes is totally unacceptable. The brakes on all models of the Viper (except the T/A) are ill-equipped for this much power and performance. All Vipers should come standard with Carbon Ceramic brakes just like the ZR1 did.4. Fit and finish problems have plagued the Viper. Seams are uneven and plastic parts/vents falling off the car during track runs makes one question the hand built workmanship of the car.Chrysler and Mr. Gilles can publically claim that everything is right on track with but again that's just more BS. One would expect a new model would generate above average sales during its first year. Averaging 1450 units per year over the past 20 years, I would say 591 units is a major failure. At the current pace 2014 will be even less.No one is expecting SRT to build 10,000 Vipers a year. No one expects SRT to sell as many Vipers as GM sells Corvettes. However I don't believe anyone at Chrysler that tells me they are happy with 591 Vipers in their first year for a newly designed model.The fix is pretty simple, get rid of the plastic crap on the Viper and replace it with carbon fiber. Get rid of the atrocious brakes and replace them with Carbon ceramic Brembo brakes. Drop the price of the GTS to $100K, and the standard Viper to $85K. Then watch Viper sales increase to acceptable levels, and you won't have to layoff 91 very skilled workers.
emmD
Exotics sell.  Especially if they are good.  Look at Porsche, Ferrari, Corvettes, GTRs..etc... If the price is right the Viper will sell.  But in its current state, it is not better looking, faster, or better handling than a Corvette or a Porsche (C4s or Cs).  If they drop the price to $90K, it will start flying off the lots.  At this price, its doomed.  

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