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Dodge Viper Could Be History

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Chrysler's new management team is wielding a sharp axe -- and one of Detroit's most respected reporters says the Dodge Viper is the next casualty of the cuts in Auburn Hills.

John McElroy, in a guest blog over at Autoblog, says he's just gotten word that the Viper will be cut as Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli and president Jim Press try to rationalize the struggling carmaker's lineup.

According to McElroy and previous reports right here at The Car Connection, Chrysler's new plan is to roughly align its brands with vehicle types. Dodge will get to rule the roost on trucks and utility vehicles, with Chrysler taking on passenger cars and Jeep, the SUV lineup. That leaves the Viper out in the cold with the new regime -- something that's been rumored since Nardelli parachuted into Auburn Hills last year but not officially confirmed.

The Viper has a unique place in Chrysler history. It was another Bob, named Lutz, who championed the early Viper in the early 1990s into production, as a symbol of the then-reviving Chrysler Corporation. Under the Mercedes administration, the Viper was reinvigorated and re-engineered, but was viewed as a sort of red-headed stepchild unaffectionately known in German pronunciation as the "Wiper."

We don't know any more yet about the possible status for the Viper as a 2009 model, but as soon as details emerge and are confirmed, we'll bring them to you.
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Comments (5)
  1. Chrysler will butcher it's lineup. Then, when sales plummet, they'll sell or shut down the company. Self-fulfilling prophecy.
     
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  2. The viper was never relevant anyway, it could not sell even 10% the copies its vastly superior rival, the Corvette, is selling every month. it was a silly design, to take a truck engine and put it in a 80k car that does not even have a decent A/C.

    The Corvette is not as perfectly polished as a Porsche 911 or a Ferrari either, but at 1/2 to 1/4 of their price it is sure a supercar bargain.
     
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  3. No big surprise. The agreement said the Conner plant would build the Viper 'through its life cycle'--which, really, can't be more than a couple of more years. Once the current Viper dies, the plant does as well, unless Chrysler can find another manufacturing source. Magna, anyone?
     
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  4. lower output will = higher profitability...
    This car cost $ and does not make any profit

    let it go and use the extra money to float another line
     
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  5. So..... in the article it says.... "Dodge will get to rule the roost on trucks and utility vehicles, with Chrysler taking on passenger cars and Jeep, the SUV lineup. That leaves the Viper out in the cold with the new regime" So.... as impressive as the story and the car that the Viper is, I can see why it makes sense to give it the ax. Viper is not making a profit. It used to be the halo car for Dodge, but the Charger and Challenger have stolen the limelight and reasonably so.... in addition to their affordability.

    However... shouldn't this be more of a story than just killing off the Viper??? If Dodge becomes more of a truck/utility manufacture, then... the Charger and Challenger will go away as well. Right? Or will they build the Charger to become more like a truck or SUV. Ramcharger, perhaps? Hmmmm... although... they've put 4 doors on the Charger and it's been pretty successful, so perhaps calling the Charger a Chrysler will stick as well?? Chrysler will be building the passenger car segment, right?
    Chrysler Charger. EEK!! BLAH!!
     
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