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  • William Maley
    William Maley
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    Viper To Begin Production In Late 2012, Drops Dodge

    Chrysler has announced the next Viper will be returning home when production begins late next year. The Viper's home is the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit where it was built from 1995 to 2010. Since production of Viper ended, Conner Avenue has sat idle.

    Chrysler says the reopening of Conner Avenue Assembly will bring back 150 jobs. Former employees will have first dibs on the positions before other hourly employees can apply for them.

    But there also a big change with the new Viper. Since 1992, the Viper was always known as a Dodge. However in the press release, the Dodge name is only used once.

    When asked about this, SRT spokesman Dan Reid said the Viper will be branded and sold as a SRT model.

    Source: Automobile Magazine

    Press Release is on Page 2

    The Snake Returns to Chrysler Group’s Conner Avenue Assembly Plant

    • Conner Plant reopens to produce 2013 SRT Viper
    • Nearly 150 jobs to return to Detroit
    • New Viper to roll off the line in late 2012

    Auburn Hills, Mich. , Dec 13, 2011 - Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit for the production of the next generation SRT Viper. With the plant’s reopening, nearly 150 jobs, both hourly and salaried, will return to the City of Detroit.

    The Conner facility was idled when production of the Dodge Viper ended in July 2010.

    “The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model,” said Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re extremely excited that our ultimate American sports car will continue to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City.”

    Current Chrysler Group hourly employees who previously worked at Conner were first offered the opportunity to return to their home plant. The balance of the positions will be filled by hourly employees volunteering to transfer to the Conner Avenue plant.

    Conner Avenue will begin building the new Viper in late 2012, but employees began reporting for training and orientation this fall.

    In preparation for the reopening, the Conner facility will begin its transformation by implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a system that is focused on reducing waste and making continuous improvements throughout the assembly process to improve quality and productivity.

    Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant, then moved to the Conner Avenue site in October 1995. All Vipers that rolled off the line were hand-built in a low-volume, modular process. Over the course of 15 years, Conner Avenue employees built about 12 vehicles a day for a total of 22,070 Vipers.

    The reopening of the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant reaffirms Chrysler Group’s commitment to the City of Detroit as the only auto manufacturer with two assembly plants in the city.

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    Hmm...guess by badging it as an SRT Viper they don't have to deal w/ the Dodge brand issue in markets where Dodge doesn't exist (i.e. outside NA)...IIRC, the previous model was called the Chrysler SRT10 in some markets.

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    It seems he's dismantling the Dodge brand, little by little. And that is something he needs to keep his mitts off of.

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