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Chrysler May Off-Load Viper Business

Chrysler LLC said that it may sell the Dodge Viper business, and has retained Lazard as its financial advisor in connection with a review of strategic options for the unit.

The Viper is a two-seat, high-performance sports car first introduced as a production model in 1992. Earlier this year, Dodge introduced a new, fourth-generation Dodge Viper SRT10 featuring an 8.4-liter V-10 engine that delivers 600 hp (447 kW) of power and 560 lb-ft (759 Nm) of torque. The Viper carries an EPA fuel economy rating of 13 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, 16 mpg combined.

For the period of January-July 2008, Viper sales more than doubled compared to the same period in 2007, increasing from 323 to 682 units.

We have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities for Viper. As the Company evaluates strategic options to maximize core operations and leverage its assets, we have agreed to listen to these parties. We will do so keeping in mind the best interests of those who have shown tremendous support for the vehicle—including employees, suppliers, dealers and a worldwide group of loyal Viper owners and enthusiasts. Viper is an integral part of this Company’s heritage. While this is a strategic review, our intent would be to offer strong operational and financial support during any potential transaction, in order to ensure a future for the Viper business and perpetuate the legacy of this great vehicle.

—Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO

The strategic review is unique to the Viper specialty vehicle. The Viper is hand-built in a low-volume, modular process at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, which operates largely independent of Chrysler’s other production facilities. The Conner plant built its 25,000th Viper in March.

Comments

Elliot

That's really too bad, but not surprising. It'd be nice to see a alternative energy version of the Viper. It'd open minds to alternative power sources, be they electric or not, though it's really one of those pure, big ICE type of vehicles.

GreenPlease

A well financed tuner could do well with the viper. Simple changes:

-Drop the V10 for a TT V6
-Shorten the front acordingly
-Lengthen the C pillar (car has no B pillar)
-Make it a hatch back
-Make it a t-top
-Go for side exhausts
-Give it a really dramatic rear aero under body treatment.

Why?

Chasis/RWD setup can't make use with more than 500hp anyways so you might as well lose some weight. Longer C pillar would give it the look of a BMW Z8 from the side, in conjunction with a rear aero treatment it would help lower the CD.

Masterblaster

Elliot please go back to engineering school. This car when we first came out with it and to date is and was designed totaly around the engine and drivetrain. "Your V-6 mention" is hardly even worth commenting on but for one thing is you can't even mention that with a straight face here.You talk of shortening the front end do you realize what would happen at speeds in excess of over even just 130mph. Take a WRX and hold the pedal down after the tuner has shutdown the rev limiter and I dare you to go the distance on a day with just 10mph of recorded wind on an open highway (you couldn't say) "that was a dumb idea" fast enough I'm sure. Ftlb's of torque I'm not really knowing if your just writing in a joke here or you were being seriuos this car needs a constant climb in both to acheive 200mph(drag coefficent) after 80+ plus speeds with capacity to rachet up both for what this car is in competition with on the world stage which the car was brought into production to compete in. Do you see BMW or Ferrari or Lambroughini even stepping in the direction you speak of? Ofcourse not and neither would the crew of engineers at Chrysler. I was a tech with Dodge for years and after the K-car days and looseing the power boats in the 70's we where finally getting back into our own after years of being out of another venue NASCAR which was sad (and I must say very embarrasing) enough for us to fall out of. Do you want us to really consider the 80's again? Please go to Honda or some other company that plays (powerfully at it respectfully I note)in the asian automarket.We fianlly got here (were strong) at it as the numbers have shown with a market weak otherwise in supercars we'll stay where we are thank you.I can personally tell you that these guys are quite the very well respected and knowlegeable engineers and have done things on the side that have taken off on there own (the V10 viper bike being one of them) and Chrysler never disbanded the dept despite the problems we had in sales as these guys were given leway to continue there idea's and prosper at them. (And they got there bonuses too)So I think I could say there on track.I wish the Pacifica never came to be as before we even sold it I new it would be our electrical nighmare for years to come (I called that one I did!)

ToppaTom

I think that before they entertain unreasonable ideas for converting the the Viper into a 4 cyl powered delivery van or a high speed good humor truck they would just sell it, as is, in Russia.

NCyder

... and so it begins ... a high dollar garage sale.

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