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    William Maley

    End of the Line for the Dodge Viper in 2017?

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      Farewell Viper in 2017?

    The Dodge Viper's future is uncertain after 2017. Allpar got their hands on the proposed UAW contract for FCA and looked at the production changes. According to the contact, the current Viper will end production in 2017 and leave the Conner Avenue assembly plant in Detroit without a vehicle to take its place.

     

    The current Viper has been languishing since its introduction in 2013 due to a combination of a high pricetag and competitors stepping up. Through September, Dodge only moved 503 Vipers, a decrease of 7.9 percent when compared to the year before.

     

    Source: Allpar

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    I posted this earlier in another thread I thought I'd place it here as well.

     

    "I'm actually not sad about that anymore. When it first left us I was..but I honestly just don't care about the Viper anymore. At that price point there are just so many better choices out there that the Viper wouldn't even cross my mind if I was 100k car shopping. If it was priced closer to a regular Stingray(and went up from there) I think it would appeal more to me. At 100k though.. Not as if I would buy it if it were 60k but it just seems more like a 60-100k car(like the Vette) rather than a 90-120k car. Other than the heating issue the Vette has been plagued with what does the Viper do better than it? Make a few hot laps behind the wheel of a professional driver(which Randy Pobst doesn't even like)? That's about it and even then the Z06 would be on it's rear bumper. Interiors? Hands down Vette. I just don't know why anybody would buy a Viper in 2015 unless the sole reason was to have something somebody else doesn't have."

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    I think right now FCA wants to build up the rest of their products and while the Viper is still a great Halo vehicle, I don't think anything from it really advanced any other part of the firm.

     

    What I mean is that a flagship for a brand can be easily justified if you plan on trickling down the technology in the future as a technological demonstrator or you want a specific branding strategy for a name. But the Viper, despite it being so exotic: hand laid carbon fibre, exclusive engines and whatnot; the rest of the car trickled up from Dodge, such as UConnect.

     

    And Dodge already had plenty of performance cred. 

     

    If FCA's house was in order, I don't think this would have happened. But it's still a monster.

     

    And I think the Viper name might be used again, but in a dystopian future for Naturally Aspirated V-10s. It might not be a Viper in essence, but it'll be a Viper in performance.

    • Upvote 1

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    Not surprised....not to mention I see FCA going the other way in terms "fast" cars.

     

    To really start pushing some MPGs, some things have to go....

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    I am saddened if this is true.

    Its easy to say "oh well, it was a good run" especially 25 years worth.

    Its true, that many sports cars dont see a 25 year production run and that is an amazing feat in itself, but like a marriage, when you pass the 7 year itch (I wouldnt know what would be the equivalent in the automobile world if there actually is one) I tend to think that things should be smooth sailing as a name has been established and a core of loyal buyers too.

     

    Yes I know, both Camaro and Trans Am went away...and wasnt THAT sad?

    Proof of what Im talking about though is that CAmaro came back with a vengeance in both sales and performance to beget a 2nd generation Camaro loyal following and a 2nd generation of the 2nd generation resurrection.

     

    When Viper briefly went away a couple of years ago, I naively thought it was never permanent and I naively thought that when it did come back that it was here to stay forever, like the Corvette. In turn, I naively think the Corvette is here to stay forever also ignoring the fact that Corvette was nearly canceled several times in its history. As recently as the C4 to the C5 and the C6 to the C7. The C8 is a lock to happen, but are we sure the C9 will happen?

     

    Anyway, its sad when an automotive icon has to go away, especially an American legend like the Viper as I am an American car guy.

     

    Just to say, the Corvette eats up another competitor...

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    The Viper is a Monster and could have done so many things right. FCA like so many of their auto's is unable to move the product forward with the times. As it is, this is a great run for a Gas Guzzling V10 Monster that few can own and few can actually fit in. Trust me I have tried and while I got in, it was hell to get out and I would NOT have been happy driving it in the uncomfortable position. This in comparison to the Corvette that I can fit in and actually drive.

     

    FCA wants a Halo car, then they need to look at the up and growing EV race scene and build the new viper as a true exotic Hyrbid or EV. 

     

    Having been doing my research for a paper I will publish here in the near future about EV conversion, I have to say it is very easy to get 600HP with 1000lbs of Torque in an electric motor that gives you crazy acceleration.

     

    Having an EV Viper that can trash everyone else out there with a 200 mile battery pack would sell I believe and give FCA a New Halo Car that is Green.

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    Not a surprise, the Viper doesn't sell, and FCA just did a new union contract.  I am sure they would love to either close a plant in Detroit or build high margin Ram Trucks or a Jeep in the USA.  While moving low margin stuff like the Dart to Mexico where labor cost is cheap.   Plus the Viper can't fit a Hemi under the hood, the V10 isn't doing them any CAFE favors, and FCA might want to push Alfa Romeo and the Hellcats as their halos.   There are probably a dozen good reasons to end Viper production, not many to keep it going.

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    Well, Viper has sold 503 units YTD, Lamborghini 567 units. It's a very limited exotic- sales are inconsequential; not a valid reason.

    By the same token, the sales-weighted contribution of the Viper is like 1% of the corporate number, if that, so MPG isn't a valid reason.

    Viper legacy is built around the V-10, putting a Hemi in would downgrade it, so that's invalid.

    Alfas could never be made as a halo in the U.S., no; never. Hellcats are still not sports cars, but muscle cars, so that's invalid.

    Viper is alone in it's factory IIRC, so if FCA isn't using space there to build something else right now, that's also… invalid.

     

    Gee, 0-5 on that post.

    Edited by balthazar
    • Upvote 1

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    They did have a longer than normal run and with all the challenges it is amazing it made it this long.

    But sales have tanked. The Corvette and much of the sports car world has left this one behind. It needed to break some new ground but it really never did.

    Sales as they are and the cost of building these is high there was little meat on the bone here if any. Also the fact Sergio really shows no love for Chrysler also is apparent here. He had so many things they could have drawn from to supply this car but they chose not to. Ferrari could have shared much here.

    But I feel the Italian wanted to protect Ferrari and his beloved Alfa that will never match up to this car.

    The other factors like MPG and the like could have been addressed as Chevy is doing. This product was left to rot by Sergio.

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    Also the fact Sergio really shows no love for Chrysler also is apparent here. He had so many things they could have drawn from to supply this car but they chose not to. Ferrari could have shared much here.

    But I feel the Italian wanted to protect Ferrari and his beloved Alfa that will never match up to this car.

     

     

    I naively did not want to believe that...even as far back as when I posted my first response in this thread. Which was October.

     

    I defended Sergio when it came to the Viper because I naively thought he could have just closed the door on it when he acquired Chryco.

    All he did was just green light a dead project on arrival, because in hindsight, its true what you said, some love from Ferrari would have been welcomed...

     

     

    But...when Sergio forced Ferrari to share technology with the other brands, that is when Ferrari people and engineers had a fallout, so maybe, all this blood may not be solely on Sergio's hands, maybe 'tis Ferrari that was not comfortable in sharing tech with a "low class, redneck sports car"...

     

    Because..I find it strange that Sergio just green lit a project in which he could have just let die.

     

    What did I just say? Let me rephrase that.

    The Viper was ALREADY dead when Sergio acquired Chryco.

    Sergio green lit what the Viper team had in store for the  next generation Viper....but those plans died when Chryco. went bankrupt.

    So...Sergio did not have to green light anything....but he did.

     

    And THAT is what is sooooooo perplexing to me.

    Why waste money on a project that WONT bring any money back to you? Fresh from a bankruptcy with more pressing issues for platform sharing than a dead sports car anyway...because the Viper was gone by that time...

    Why waste money on a project when you know that  there wont be a budget for?

    Why waste money on a project when you know you arent serious with it to begin with....because this Viper really had no major improvements from the last generation because there was no money. I remember Ralph Gilles saying he had to perform miracles with the budget and technology he had to work with...

     

    So...good on the Viper team to actually make competition for better technologically advanced machines...

     

    So...my question is:

    Why DID Sergio green light a project when we all know today, he was really not interested in it?

     

    I believe he had some interest in it, but Ferrari clashed with him so he said eff it in the end...

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    I'm surprised it lasted this long. The Viper is a handful compared to much more composed yet equally capable cars.

    Yes everyone stepped up the game and this car just remained with small changes. Chrysler and Fiat never really showed it the love it needed.

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    I am glad the ACR is sending i out with a bang and with the track process the original vipers and the 08 ACR that made them what they were.  IMHO, they still need a 2 seat performance car that is more comfortable, more street-able, and less expensive.  The 6.4 Hemi fitted with an aluminum block starting in the low/mid 50s would be a great starting point, then they could work up from here.  This shouldn't be called a Viper though.  Maybe design a V10 version, new V10 though, maybe based on Hemi Architecture with say, a 6.5 liter displacement and at least 650 HP with as much weight savings as possible.  Call that the Viper.  Just an idea.  Rumors swirl there will be a new one, but they do need to rethink the formula.  

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    With the ability of Ferrari engineering they really need to look to them for a new car. They really could have hit one out of the park but really did not get all the support that could or should have been given. I blame the Italy first thinking here as they treat Dodge as the red headed step child. 

     

    The ACR is nice but they left a lot on the table with the standard car. 

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    With the ability of Ferrari engineering they really need to look to them for a new car. They really could have hit one out of the park but really did not get all the support that could or should have been given. I blame the Italy first thinking here as they treat Dodge as the red headed step child. 

     

    The ACR is nice but they left a lot on the table with the standard car. 

    So a Dodge  is a Testarossa is what you are saying?

    Not a Ferrari as I originally thought....HMMMMMM  :scratchchin:

     

    122403.jpg

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    Well I should have known not to open the blocked post. It is a click I will never get back. 

    Why Hyper?

     

    You dont have a sense of humor?

     

    Are you that into yourself that you cant laugh a little?

     

    Block me all you want...I aint NEVER going away!!!

     

    And the more you resist me, the more Ill bug you, until you remove that stick out of your :butthead:

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    The Viper ACR is incredible.

     

    I would reckon though that you have to be able to survive just how much the car punishes you to deliver the kind of performance it is capable of.

     

    So aside from race car drivers, there is not much left for the Viper.

     

    And really, it should be a car that has limited production runs. If it's a long-term production car, then it will need some real support, some real corporate back-bone to do it.

     

    Now the Corvette is the everyday hero sports car, but I'd still say it's not an exotic. And it has developed a reputation for greatness on GTLM class racing, but I'm not sure if that pans out for real endurance like the Monster ACR in the Z06 production car.

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      $4.5 Billion to Build New Assembly Plant in Detroit and Add Production at Five Existing Michigan Facilities, Creating Nearly 6,500 Jobs
       
      FCA total committed investments in the U.S. grow to nearly $14.5 billion since 2009, with nearly 30,000 jobs created to date Investment would be next step in Company’s U.S. industrialization plan, announced in 2016 to expand Jeep® and Ram brands Introduces two new Jeep-branded “white space” products in key market segments Enables electrification of new Jeep models $1.6 billion investment would convert Mack Avenue Engine Complex into manufacturing site for next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV, creating 3,850 new jobs $900 million investment at Jefferson North to retool and modernize plant for continued production of Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee with 1,100 new jobs expected Warren Truck 2017 investment increases to $1.5 billion for production of all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, as well as continued assembly of Ram 1500 Classic with addition of 1,400 new jobs All three assembly sites would also produce plug-in hybrid versions of their respective Jeep models with flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future Sterling Stamping and Warren Stamping plants to receive more than $400 million total investment to support additional production, potentially creating about 80 new jobs at Sterling $119 million investment to relocate Pentastar engine production currently at Mack I to the Dundee Engine Plant; production at Mack would end by Q3 2019 Projects contingent on land acquisition and the negotiation of development incentives with the cities of Detroit, Sterling Heights, Warren, Dundee and state of Michigan City of Detroit has 60 days to deliver on commitments outlined in Memorandum of Understanding related to Mack and Jefferson North projects February 26, 2019 , London - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) confirmed today plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its Jeep® and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs.

      The plant actions detailed in today’s announcement represent the next steps in a U.S. manufacturing realignment that FCA began in 2016. In response to a shift in consumer demand toward SUVs and trucks, the Company discontinued compact car production and retooled plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to make full use of available capacity to expand the Jeep and Ram brands. Those actions have resulted in the recent launches of the award-winning all-new Jeep Wrangler and all-new Ram 1500, and the introduction of the newest member of the Jeep family, the all-new Jeep Gladiator, at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

      “Three years ago, FCA set a course to grow our profitability based on the strength of the Jeep and Ram brands by realigning our U.S. manufacturing operations,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA N.V. “Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy. It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”

      The city of Detroit has 60 days to meet the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding, which requires the acquisition of property critical to the execution of the Mack project. The additional investments are subject to the successful negotiation and final approval of development packages with the state and other local governments.

      Plant Investment Details
      FCA would invest $1.6 billion to convert the two plants that comprise the Mack Avenue Engine Complex into the future assembly site for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models, adding 3,850 new jobs to support production. The Company intends to start construction of the new Detroit facility by the end of Q2 2019 with the first three-row vehicles expected to roll off the line by the end of 2020, followed by the all-new Grand Cherokee in the first half of 2021.

      Also as part of this announcement, the Jefferson North Assembly Plant would receive an investment of $900 million to retool and modernize the facility to build the Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. FCA expects to create 1,100 new jobs at Jefferson North.

      The reborn Mack facility would be the first new assembly plant to be built in the city of Detroit in nearly three decades. In 1991, Jefferson North was the last new assembly plant built in the city. When complete, Mack would join Jefferson North as the only automotive assembly plants to be located completely within the city limits of Detroit.

      The Pentastar engines – the 3.6-, 3.2- and 3.0-liter – currently built at Mack I would be relocated to the Dundee Engine Plant as part of a $119 million investment. Pentastar production at Mack I would end by Q3 2019. Mack II has been idle since it ceased production of the 3.7-liter V-6 in September 2012.

      FCA also confirms the investment at Warren Truck to retool for production of the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, announced in 2017, along with their electrified counterparts, would increase to $1.5 billion. Production is expected to launch in early 2021. In addition to the new Jeep models, the plant would continue building the Ram 1500 Classic, which is being extended to meet market demand. It is expected that 1,400 new jobs would be added. As a result of this investment announcement, production of the all-new Ram Heavy Duty will continue at its current location in Saltillo, Mexico.

      To support the additional production, the Company’s Warren Stamping (Warren, Michigan) and Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan) plants would receive investments of $245 million and $160 million, respectively, with Sterling Stamping expected to add more than 80 new jobs.

      This investment is part of the Company's capital spending plan presented in June 2018.

      Realignment of FCA U.S. Manufacturing Operations
      Over the past two years, FCA has realigned production at four plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to increase capacity for the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 light-duty truck, and created additional manufacturing capacity for the Jeep Gladiator in Ohio.

      The investments included:  $350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant (Illinois) to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which moved from Toledo, Ohio, in 2017. More than 300 new jobs were added to support production, which launched in June 2017. $700 million in the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to retool the North plant to produce the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs were added to support production, which began in December 2017. $1.48 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Michigan) to build the next-generation Ram 1500 truck, adding more than 700 new jobs. Production of the new truck began in March 2018. Production of the Ram 1500 Classic continues at Warren Truck (Michigan). $273 million in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare the facility to produce the all-new Jeep Gladiator. The new truck is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.   In total, FCA has committed to invest nearly $14.5 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, creating nearly 30,000 new jobs since June 2009.
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