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Viper plant re-opening

by David Zatz on

Chrysler Group announced today that it will reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit for the production of the next Dodge Viper. With the plant’s reopening, nearly 150 jobs, both hourly and salaried, will return to the City of Detroit.

The Conner facility was idled when production of the Dodge Viper ended in July 2010. “The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model,” said Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC.   Current hourly employees who previously worked at Conner were first offered the opportunity to return to their home plant; the rest will be filled by employees volunteering to transfer.

Conner Avenue will begin building the new Viper in late 2012, but employees began reporting for training and orientation this fall. The Conner facility will begin its transformation by implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM) to make continuous improvements throughout the assembly process.

Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant, then moved to the Conner Avenue site in October 1995. All Vipers that rolled off the line were hand-built in a low-volume, modular process. Over the course of 15 years, Conner Avenue employees built about 12 vehicles a day for a total of 22,070 Vipers.

Chrysler is the only auto manufacturer with two assembly plants in the City of Detroit itself, including Conner Avenue. (See the Conner Avenue plant page at Allpar and 2013 Dodge Viper)

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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