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End of Viper era looms

2008-08-28 08:04
Dodge, Viper
Chrysler LLC announced on Tuesday that it is exploring "strategic options" for its Dodge Viper nameplate as the company focuses on bolstering its core business.

In a statement, Chrysler chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli said the company has been approached by a number of parties interested in the Viper.

"We have agreed to listen to these parties," he said.

The Viper brand plays an important role in the company's heritage and the review of its position within Chrysler comes as the company strengthens its core offerings and prepares to launch more vehicles.

By contrast, Viper is hand-built in low-volumes at a facility that operates largely independent of Chrysler's other production sites.

Nardelli has stressed that "while this is a strategic review, our intent would be to offer strong operation and financial support during any potential transaction, in order to ensure a future for the Viper business and perpetuate the legacy of this great vehicle.

The Dodge Viper has been in production since 1992 and the review comes as Chrysler and other manufacturers battle an industry-wide decline brought on by a weakening US economy and high global fuel prices.

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