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Chrysler to Halt SRT Viper Production Due to Slow Sales, 2015 Model Year Changes

The Chrysler Group has announced that the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant where the SRT Viper is built will be idled for 9 weeks starting next month to help the company burn through inventory already on hand while also performing any changes that need to be made for the start of the 2015 model year Viper production run.

The winter of 2013-2014 has had record cold and record snowfall all over the United States and while winter weather can be hard on all sorts of performance models – high end supercars like the SRT Viper are affected harder than most. In a normal winter, there are plenty of people in the southern and western United States who purchase performance cars of all varieties during what us Northerners might call the snowy season, but this winter has reached further south and west with the bitter cold, heavy snow and extreme ice storms than almost any on record.

Because of this miserable winter, sales of pretty much everything that isn’t a four wheel drive truck or SUV have dropped and the likes of the mighty Viper are the cars that have seen the biggest dip in monthly sales.

After moving 591 SRT Viper coupes during the shortened 2013 sales year – numbers which the Chrysler Group acknowledges aren’t very good – the sale figures have been even worse in the first two months of 2014 for the Viper with just 91 units sold. Through the sluggish sales months late in 2013 and these first few months of 2014, the Connor Ave plant continued building Vipers as they worked to cut through the piles of custom orders mixed in with stock orders from dealerships around the country.

All of that production has amounted to a high number of new Vipers either sitting on dealership floors or waiting to be delivered to those folks who custom ordered their Mopar supercars and because of that high level of Viper stock – the Chrysler Group will idle the Viper plant production starting on April 14th and continued through to June 23rd.

During this 9 week down 91 workers from the Connor Ave Viper plant will be temporarily laid off while those workers who keep on showing up to work every day will be responsible for performing plant maintenance including any retooling efforts or other upgrades needed to begin the production of the 2015 SRT Viper later this year. Beginning on June 23rd, production at the Connor Ave Detroit facility will start back up as originally planned.

Any plant downtime always comes across as bad news and there are plenty of people who will view this idling of the Connor Ave plant as a sign of the SRT Viper struggling in the consumer market. Fortunately, Chrysler insists that the Vipers are selling at a pace which they expected and with the special nature of the Viper, the company expects downtime from time to time for retooling and inventory control. In the meantime, those new SRT Viper supercars which have been delivered are being loved by owners all around the country with dozens more prospective buyers heading to dealerships each week.

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