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Viper plant to be idled

by David Zatz on

2014 SRT Viper in stryker green

Yesterday, Automotive News picked up a  Detroit Free Press story which claimed that the Conner Avenue plant in Detroit, which only makes SRT Vipers, will be idled for two months due to slow sales. 91 hourly workers are being laid off for the duration.

A written statement from Chrysler confirmed that production will stop on “the week of April 14” and resume “the week of June 23.” 

Around 412 days’ supply of Vipers are sitting on U.S. dealer lots — 756 cars in all. Only 91 were sold in the U.S. in January and February, though winter is normally a slow time for the high performance cars. Some sales in the Southeast may not have materialized due to unusual weather.

SRT chief Ralph Gilles blamed part of the sales drop on dealers who lock the cars in their showrooms without allowing test drives; he started a new program of touring factory teams which provide customers with the ability to test drive the cars, which cost over $100,000. This effort has only recently begun. However, past Vipers have sold reasonably well despite the same issues.

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