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Chrysler keeps pet snake for now

2009-07-14 10:28
Despite Chrysler’s painful bankruptcy restructuring, the Dodge brand’s fabled Viper supercar has a new lease on life.

Last year Chrysler seemed determined to sell Viper (for only around $10 million) as a means of tapping into some needed cash revenue. Interested parties though, evaporated along with the safety margin in global equity markets.

In the meantime, Chrysler's bankruptcy has been initiated and a new partnership with Fiat instigated.


Packing a 8.4l V10 Viper is disturbingly quick and outlandishly styled, yet the demanding handling and lack of heritage curtail residuals and they are particularly unloved trade-ins.

Viper’s boss, under the new Fiat directed management team, is Mike Accavitti, and he’s put some spectacular spin on the surprising decision to not sell off the brand.

“We’re extremely proud that the ultimate American-built sports car with its world-class performance will live on as the iconic image leader for the Dodge brand,” he said.

Truth be told though, it has been a case of calculated withdrawal from a market devoid of buyers for a brand which only retails one product – a truck engined, 8.4l 450kW supercar.

As heroic as the Viper is, from its humble beginnings as a concept car in 1989, the market for something as fast, forbidding and crass in the 21st century has all but dissipated.

No surprise then to find the Connor Avenue factory has only assembled 118 Vipers this year, and from now on, all cars will be pre-ordered with no inventory stocking production runs.




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