Chrysler Group announced on Friday that it will retain its Viper operations, ending a search for a buyer for the business.
"We're extremely proud that the ultimate American-built sports car with its world-class performance will live on as the iconic image leader of the Dodge brand," said Michael Accavitti, CEO of the Dodge division of Chrysler Group.
Chrysler had been seeking at least $10 million for its Viper operations since last August, as majority shareholder Cerberus Capital Management sought to sell off the automaker's assets to raise cash. By May 15, in the midst of bankruptcy, Chrysler had only received two offers, a $5.5-million bid from Devon Motor Works and an offer from a Polish group.
The Conner Avenue plant in Detroit that produces the Viper is currently shut down, despite being the first factory that resumed production once Chrysler Group was formed during the old Chrysler's bankruptcy proceedings. A Chrysler official said the plant would finish out the year making 2009 models, and switch to the 2010 model year in January. The plant will only come online when there is demand, the official said.
According to Automotive News, Chrysler built 1545 Dodge Vipers in 2008. So far this year, the automaker has produced just 118 Vipers. The plant did not make any cars in January, February, March, or May of this year.
Source: Automotive News