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FCA To Axe Dodge Viper???

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On: Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 11:31AM | By: Carl Malek

FCA To Axe Dodge Viper???

While many in the automotive industry are celebrating the recent agreement between FCA and the UAW in their labor talks, a small detail in the new agreement suggests that the Viper is slated to be axed within the next few years, due to sluggish sales and the new terms of the forementioned agreement.

According to a post on the Chrysler fansite Allpar, the new agreement includes a provision that the Dodge Viper and its iconic plant Conner Avenue production plant could be phased out within the next two years. This in stark contrast to rumors that appeared last year that appeared to suggest that Dodge was willing to invest in an extensive suite of upgrades for its slow-selling serpent in an effort to jump start sales. The upgrades would have included a convertible variant, as well as an all-new performance variant that would have featured a supercharged 8.4-liter V10 (a first for the Dodge Viper) that would have seen horsepower shoot past 800 horses. The sheer scale of the Viper's problems could be seen when FCA slashed the base MSRP by $15,000 for the 2015 model year which helped spark a brief surge in sales before they resumed their sluggish decline.

The main culprit is that the iconic snake has mainly stayed in the foreground thanks in part to the strong performance of the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Challenger Hellcat models. Both of these models feature a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that makes 707 horsepower and an equally stout 650 lb-ft of torque which is more than the 640 horsepower wielded by the bigger 8.4-liter V10. Both of these models have proven to be strong sellers for the company with their popularity being so profound that FCA was forced to cut production and raise prices for the 2016 model year. The initial number of sold units for the 2015 model year is said to be around 4,000 units which is nearly triple that of the Viper.

The Viper, in contrast, has seen a 55 percent slide in recent sales with only 49 units sold for the month of September. In addition, deliveries of the car have also seen a sharp decline and were eight percent in the red for the first nine months of the model year when they were combined. It will be interesting to see if the recently unveiled Viper ACR can help provide a much needed jolt to Viper sales and perhaps get them in an upward swing again; only time will tell if the Viper, as well as its Conner Avenue assembly plant, will earn the right to survive in the automotive marketplace in the near future.


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