Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chrysler cuts Ralph Gilles' SRT Viper production due to slow sales

Production of the SRT Viper sportscar has been cut down from nine vehicles per day to only six per day because of slow sales and growing inventories, Automotive News reports.

None of the workers at Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit will be laid off, but they will be reassigned to other facilities in the Detroit area, a company spokeswoman said.

Chrysler sold only 426 SRT Vipers in the United States this year, with 565 more still available as unsold stock at dealerships, which translates into a 289-day (nine and a half months) supply. Initial Viper production was set at 2,000 examples per year.

"We got off to a late start. We had hoped to begin shipping vehicles late last year, but we shipped the first 67 units in April. We typically do very well with the Viper in early spring,” said Ralph Gilles, head of the SRT brand.

In addition, SRT will begin visiting Viper dealers starting November to allow potential customers to test-drive factory-owned vehicles, Gilles added: “We really have to focus on putting butts in seats. A lot of people are unnecessarily intimidated by the car.”

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