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Dodge Boss Plans to Make All Hellcat Charger, Challenger Customers Happy

Dodge brand CEO Tim Kuniskis recently spoke with the LA Times about the popularity of the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger with the 707hp Hellcat Hemi, and when addressing the huge backlog of orders coupled with more people who want to place orders, Kuniskis stated very clearly that the automaker will “make them all happy."

When the new action packed racing flick Furious 7 debuted last weekend, Dodge brand CEO Tim Kuniskis was in the crowd of celebrities at the Chinese Theater, as Dodge brand vehicles were some of the stars of the show. The new 2015 Dodge Charger and 2015 Dodge Challenger were both featured in Furious 7, along with a few other classic Mopar muscle cars, but when the LA Times caught up with Kuniskis at the movie premier, the key topic of discussion was the Hellcat Hemi.

Fixing the Hellcat “Problems”
While the Hellcat Hemi really has nothing to do with Furious 7, the 707 horsepower V8 has been one of the biggest things to hit the American market since the original 426 Hemi debuted back in the mid 1960s. The popularity of this engine and the vehicles equipped with it caught the Chrysler team off guard and because of that, the demand has far exceeded the early production rate. This caused a huge backlog of orders, a lengthy waiting list and a temporary shut-down of the Hellcat Challenger and Charger order banks.

The Hellcat powered Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger are among the most powerful street legal production cars in the world with a price that is far below the cost of competitive vehicles, so it makes sense that these two 707hp Mopar muscle cars would be hot sellers. Unfortunately, the delay caused by the huge number of orders has upset some buyers while other prospective buyers are upset that they are unable to order a Hellcat Challenger or Charger, but Tim Kuniskis told the LA Times that the company is working through the waiting list and they will re-open the order banks. The brief interview ended with Kuniskis saying "We'll make them all happy."

Making Them All Happy
Based on the discussion, when Tim Kuniskis says that the company is going to make them all happy, he is talking about two groups of people. The first includes those folks who have already ordered a Hellcat Challenger or Charger and the backlog has forced them to wait, without really knowing how long they will be waiting. The second group includes people who want to place an order for the Hellcat Challenger or Charger, but since the order banks are closed, they cannot place that order.

2015 Challenger Galleries:
The 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack in Sublime
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in TorRed
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in Sublime

If Dodge is to make all of those people happy, the company will need to do three things. First, they need to work through all of the actual orders from customers rather than worrying about orders from dealerships that are likely to just sit around on the showroom floor with a huge price markup. They need to actually fill the orders that have been placed by customers with cash in hand. Second, they need to re-open the order banks, again focusing on dealerships that have actual customers lined up. Third, they need to fill those new orders and then – and only then – they should start building Hellcat cars for dealership stock.

Following this three step process would certainly make all of us happy, but with the production constraints of the Hellcat Hemi, it is hard to imagine just how long it will take the Chrysler Group to successfully build all of the cars needed to make everyone happy.

Source: LA Times


Ron Langley (not verified)    April 9, 2015 - 6:37PM

I would hope so as I am 71 and have one ordered since Sept 2014,,, not trying to pull rank but I have owned about 300 Chrysler products including 4 vipers and a prowler,,, I would have thought that someone would have taken notice of the LOYAL customers and possibly given them some sort of consideration but it seems like this has never been a priority as I have never even received a thank you for over 50 years of loyalty,,,, maybe you guys are missing something

Art Mooney (not verified)    April 10, 2015 - 1:00PM

In reply to by Ron Langley (not verified)

I feel you Ron. I'm 72 and have been trying to buy a HC Charger from day one. At my age every summer counts and this one is now lost to FCA mismanagement, dealer corruption and a broken allocation system. I just want to buy a car, not play games for a year and end up with nothing but the loss of one of the last few good years of my life in the process. Our time is the most valuable thing we have to give and Dodge is needlessly squandering mine. I appreciate the supply and demand difficulties but they're being exponentially compounded by a TERRIBLY corrupt dealer network. I may not even live long enough to get one at this rate but even if I do, I'm sure I'll love the car - but the company is lost to me. This will be my last Dodge - sad to see a lifelong relationship end on such a bad note.

Lloyd (not verified)    April 11, 2015 - 4:18AM

In reply to by Art Mooney (not verified)

Ron...I'm with you, as a lifelong Dodge owner, I too was anticipating the Hellcat, to bad I tossed in the towel and spend 100K for the new Z06, FCA's loss not mine.

Dickusdell (not verified)    May 20, 2015 - 8:50PM

In reply to by Art Mooney (not verified)

Dodge is not responsible for your "last years" being wasted. Buy another car and get on with life fool. And be thankful you don't have to worry about money. Worst case scenario is you never get your car, and that deposit goes back in your fat pocket.

battering ram (not verified)    June 13, 2015 - 10:10AM

In reply to by Art Mooney (not verified)

instead of sitting back and waiting for your order to go through you should have spent a couple of hours looking for one on line. I found mine for msrp after 1 week of looking back in January. Those who put effort into finding one early on got theirs. those who sat back and waited may be waiting until 2017

Matt gonzalez (not verified)    August 7, 2015 - 3:13PM

In reply to by Art Mooney (not verified)

Well, you don't have to wait any longer or worry. I have a challenger Hellcat 8 speed auto trans. Sublime green with black hood for sale. I ordered mine last year I now the gm at a dealer and I was put 1st on the list to order. I got mine in January. All I can say is bad to the bone a d hold on. It's for sale. If your interested call me my name is matt.
602 980 7221

Auto Motive (not verified)    April 13, 2015 - 7:31AM

In reply to by Ron Langley (not verified)

I too am a senior at 67 and will be selling my vette this year to make room for a 2016 special order HC Charger for 2016. I will not pay over msrp for anything. I notice on auto trader dealers are saying they have HC for sale and I doubt that. Auto Trader should stop these dealers from advertising cars that don't have. I see inflated prices for the HC and just frown on those that want one so badly they will pay premium. My charger HC will be fully optioned and I will then spend the premiums other are paying to add slicks, custom painted hood, K&N filter, custom Asanti offset wheels and tire package and eventually a nitrous kit. The $15k in after market parts will make my Charger one of a kind. My grand kids are excited to hit the drag strip and car cruises to make this a family affair. My daughter bought a 392 Challenger in 2012 blue with silver stripes and its a beast. Looking forward at the HC craze settling down and if its still nuts in 2016 may just consider a Z06. Good luck to everyone especially the baby boomers that want a HC for their last modern muscle car.

Jamie collingwood (not verified)    April 9, 2015 - 8:26PM

there is noooo way the order banks are going to open again for this model year. Its already been confirmed on What I hope Tim is saying is that he will make the 3000 of is who have had VONs since sept 9, happy. Quite frankly if you didnt order one then look at next year. All of is day 1 orders need to be filled before anything happens.

Wayne Rauh (not verified)    April 10, 2015 - 9:02AM

My wife D' Ann Rauh has had a 5,000.00 deposit on a hellcat Challenger she put down in July 2013 and no car. I fill something should have been done a long time ago. We own 77 viper 6 SRT Challenger 1 Charger 4 dodge truck 6 Jeeps plus more. I think it was very bad business to give dealers hell cat to sell for 10,000.00 to 20,000.00 over MSRP. And Not take car of the sold cars frist. As you all know you have make a lot of good customer very self I am sick of it. Wayne Rauh

MoPower (not verified)    April 10, 2015 - 2:01PM

Been in VON Hell since the order banks first opened up last year. Dealer still has had zero HC's turn to VINs and there are a few orders ahead of me. I have to take this news with a grain of salt, especially since FCA can't communicate at all with their customers nor their dealers. Nobody knows what is going on. Tim may wish to make everyone happy, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. It appears that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing at FCA, and the lack of proper communication, especially to the customers, is intolerable. All SRT does is tell you to talk to your dealer. All the dealer says is they don't know, because FCA doesn't tell them squat, and the allocation rules change constantly. It's very apparent that FCA is in Damage Control Mode. Unfortunately what is hurting them most is their own lack of knowledge of what is going on to be able to inform the customer... and the dealerships that are gouging WAY above MSRP (which is really hurting the Brand... the opposite of what Tim Wanted)

Joe Rud (not verified)    April 10, 2015 - 2:03PM

What ever happened to first in first out? As I was number 2 on the list seems the apple doesn't fall from the tree when it comes to Dodge and its dealers.

wes manis (not verified)    April 11, 2015 - 6:03AM

Ordered last sept and was promised but after the BJ auction was shown with the first hellcat the dealer called and told me dodge was having them take silient bids on the first run of cars I told them they were full of it I would not do that so they ended up selling my car to someone else for 91,000 larry hills dodge in poplar bluff !!

Jamir Collingwood (not verified)    April 18, 2015 - 8:06PM

This turned out to be a total crock. Just 2 weeks later it has been divulged that anyone with an auto challenger hellcat order will not be getting their car this year. I am a day 1 order, almost 8 months of waiting only to find out we are not getting our cars. I really hope you guys do a story on this. Visit hellcat dot org to read the many very ticked off customers that dodge has ignored. Its been a total clown show.

Ricci Cavallaro (not verified)    May 2, 2015 - 1:43AM

I hope they quit production period! That would make the 2015 fairly rare and valuable! Of course I have one so... One can dream! ;-)

D'Ann Rauh (not verified)    May 8, 2015 - 10:52AM

Well here a month ago Tim said he was gonna make all Hellcat owners happy, maybe that's the problem, I don't have mine yet Tim! I'M NOT HAPPY! Where is my car? Emails have been sent and no replies! Not happy!

Ric (not verified)    May 8, 2015 - 1:51PM

Honestly I think they should have a driving test for anyone trying to buy one of these. I've had powerful cars all my life including a low 10 second 1970 Road Runner. I know what skills it takes to handle this kind if power. This car should not be sold to just anyone. It's like giving Gun to a baby! There will be deaths from people who cannot handle this kind if power! Good luck to all of you who have ordered, but be careful what you wish for...

Tim (not verified)    May 18, 2015 - 8:50PM

I have been on the "list" since Nov 26. Not one word on production. Frustrating. $5,000 markup and another $1,000 and for an empty bay in my garage.

Wayne Rauh (not verified)    May 21, 2015 - 1:19AM

Well last week we had to go to the people in high places. But my wife's Hellcat is being built this week. Wish we could help everyone we are trying. Hope lesson is learned by Dodge to take care of sold orders to customers frist not Dodge Dealers with out Customers they won't need Dodge Dealers. Wayne Rauh

Tim (not verified)    June 20, 2015 - 6:06PM

In reply to by Wayne Rauh (not verified)

Wayne, I was finally told a couple weeks ago "my order has been approved" so how long do they tell you production will take now that the order is good? My dealership can't answer that. Thanks.

William Haerle (not verified)    June 13, 2015 - 2:45PM

I would love to see all auto manufacturers go the way of Tesla. Can you say Direct sales. Dealerships can turn into service organizations if they can get that right, but I doubt they can. Most dealerships have to survive on their sales as their service is just not up to par. I for one would pay more to buy direct from the factory but probably wouldn't have too.

Mike Broderick (not verified)    June 26, 2015 - 1:38PM

I worked at a Reputable Dodge dealer for the last two years and can tell you all that are waiting - Don't be mad at FCA, your dealer is the one giving you bad information. All of the dealers in the country were given allocations based on previous sales of SRT's and Vipers. Some dealers were not allocated any HellCats, meaning that any order they placed, sold or not were not and will not be picked up. The dealer I worked for was allocated 5 total and we are a LARGE dealership. Of the 5, all have been ordered, built, and delivered. The only one that took extra time was the one ordered with the carbon fiber hood that they eventually did not produce and shipped the car with the standard hood. If you don't have yours, go to the dealer, speak to the owner and ask to see their allocation and proof of the order being "picked up" by FCA, my bet is they didn't have any allocated to begin with. Additionally, go to a dealer that has 2016 allocation and order one, you will love it.

Dusterdave (not verified)    December 6, 2015 - 11:50PM

Hey ,to the guys that are 70 and didn't get a hellcat yet and are saying the summers are slipping buy,what do you intend on doing with it?You should consider a fiat 500 so you don't jam up the fast lane.

Art (not verified)    March 2, 2016 - 3:53AM

Wow, I got my Hellcat in 4 days. Did not waste my time at the dealerships. Got lucky and found one in Texas from a private owner that needed to sell. He had the car listed on a classic car website. I called and got a call back from the business owner who put me in touch with the private owner. I received a text and got back to him two days later. He agreed to sell the car to me for $70K. Picked up the car in San Antonio with 849 miles on the odometer, and drove it back to AZ. This was in August of 2015.