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Hellcats selling, interest still high

by Patrick Rall on

Even though the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has been on sale for months, with its four-door Charger companion starting to reach buyers, interest remains as strong as ever. There have been over 9,000 orders for the 707hp muscle cars already, according to Automotive News.

The demand is much higher than Chrysler had expected, which has led to frustrating delays for buyers who have already laid down cash for a car that might not arrive for months.

hellcat fender

Thanks to a recall of Hellcat Challengers and Chargers earlier this month (for a problem caught during dealer inspection which may not have affected any other cars), we learned that there were 2,211 Hemi Hellcat-powered muscle cars already delivered to dealers. There was no breakdown by model, but most likely the vast majority were Dodge Challengers.

That figure of 2,211 was the first official delivery figure that we had seen, but according to Automotive News, that figure is far, far below the number of cars currently on order.

According to Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette, dealerships have accepted more than 9,000 orders for the Hellcat Challenger and Hellcat Charger. Orders for 9,000 Hellcat cars will lead to more than a half billion dollars in sales, but the high demand coupled with the slow production process, which includes an in-factory run-in of every single Hellcat Hemi engine, has caused a slow delivery process, and this wait has become a bit of an undeserving black eye for the automaker.

1086 hellcat challenger

Many of these waiting buyers who believed that they could order a highly sought after, brand new performance car and receive it right away have taken to the Internet to complain. That has led Dodge to issue a statement clarifying the delivery process, saying it would continue to be slow and that it is the dealerships’ fault for taking so many orders when they knew that the high demand would lead to a tough allocation process.

Even with Chrysler coming right out and stating that the cars will continue to trickle out over the next few months, interest in these two 707 horsepower monsters has barely faded. That said, while some dealerships have accepted far too many orders for the Hellcat Challenger and Charger, some dealerships have Hellcat cars on the way with no buyer lined up.

Today, Allpar spoke with sales representatives from Dodge dealerships around the country, who all had the same basic story – that people had been stopping by the dealership at the rate of at least one a day, asking if there was a Hellcat Challenger or Charger  to check out in person. Some said that even with the incredibly long wait predicted by the automaker, they have received and accepted orders for the Hellcat Hemi powered Dodge. There were also a few dealership reps who were happy to speak on the record.2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Robert Sawyer, a sales associate of Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat Alfa in Huntsville, Alabama, explained that his dealership has already received and quickly sold two Hellcat Challengers, and they are currently awaiting their first Hellcat Charger – which will be finished in B5 Blue. The first Hellcat Charger headed for Landers McLarty hasn’t been spoken for just yet, so if you are in the area and you want to put down money on an unreserved 707hp Charger, Landers McLarty might be able to help you out. Sawyer also stated that they have three more standing orders for Hellcat Challengers, but those cars haven’t been built yet, so those folks are left waiting like so many others.

Bill is a sales associate from a smaller Dodge dealership in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area; they pride themselves as being a Challenger Specialists dealership in both sales and service.   Bill sold the only Challenger SRT Hellcat that they have received (the fender of which is shown in the image atop this article), and while the dealership has a few more orders in, they do not know when their next Hellcat car will arrive.

As was the case with the other Dodge sales associates with whom I spoke, Bill says that there is still a heavy flow of people coming in to check out the Hellcat, but in the event that they were serious buyers, many of them have test driven the new Scat Pack model, only to end up driving it home. When Dodge introduced the Hellcat Challenger and Charger, the company expected that the 707hp model would help to get people in the door, while the more affordable Scat Pack and SRT 392 models would be the muscle cars they drive home.

Dodge-15Hellcat-Generic

The 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat on order at Landers McLarty is not currently reserved. Buyers in some areas are freaking out because they are unable to get their hands on one of the 707hp Mopar monsters right away, but the fact that the Landers McLarty Hellcat Charger doesn’t have a buyer waiting is clear proof that there are Hellcat cars on the market – you just need to do some hunting around.

In other words, if you really want a 707 horsepower Hellcat Charger or Challenger, you can find one with some careful shopping and the realistic expectation of paying a bit over MSRP…or you could wait a year or so, when the early rush for the most affordable 700+ horsepower cars in the world should have worn down.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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