Up until about two months, the Dodge Viper was selling poorly. The modern Viper has sold so poorly during 2014 that the company basically shut the Connor Avenue Viper plant down altogether when it should have been shut down for normal model year change downtime. Inventory levels of the Viper was through the roof and with sales bottoming out, the company had no choice to stop building Vipers. Well, sales skyrocketed in September with a new, lower price and reports from around the industry indicate that October will be another strong month for Viper sales. Based on this, the company expects to resume Viper production in November as the 2015 model year vehicles finally begin rolling off of the assembly line.
Fixing the Viper Sales Problem
There have been lots of opinions as to why the Dodge Viper wasn’t selling better, but the two easiest problems to fix were the marketing and the pricing. The modern Viper was introduced as the SRT Viper, as the Chrysler Group moved to make the Viper a more exclusive supercar and I think that it is safe to say at this point that the SRT brand move was a pretty epic failure. Enthusiasts didn’t see the point and based on the sales figures, that unique branding didn’t help sales any. Chrysler fixed this by turning the SRT Viper back in the Dodge Viper, but that didn’t have any real impact on sales.
Next, Dodge fixed the pricing in a big way, cutting the price of the 2014 models still on lots around the country by $15,000 and announcing that the 2015 Viper would also carry this new, low pricing. This was a remarkable, unprecedented move by Chrysler, as never before has there been a situation where a company cut the cost of a vehicle so substantially without removing any content.
Calling this new pricing a success is an understatement, as sales of the Dodge Viper shot up to near record numbers immediately following the price cut. Chrysler had never sold more than 97 SRT Vipers in one month, but in September, they sold 108 Vipers. Word on the street is that October will show similar numbers (if not better) and the strong sales over the past 7 or so weeks has allowed the company to cut through a significant portion of the 2014 Vipers sitting on lots around the country.
2015 Viper Production Arrives Late
With the inventory dwindling, Chrysler plans to resume production of the Dodge Viper in November and when the assembly line workers get back to work, they will be building the 2015 Dodge Viper. November is a very late start time for production of s 2015 model year vehicle, with other performance cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger having already seen 2015 models reach customers. However, better late than never.
Interestingly, when production of the 2015 Dodge Viper begins next month, the Connor Ave plant will only be building the base model Viper SRT and the new Viper GT. The company is going to hold off on production the more expensive Time Attack and GTS models until a later date, allowing dealerships to get their hands on the more affordable models when production is back underway.
Source: Automotive News via Allpar