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SOURCE: AutoNews.com

Chrysler considers selling the Dodge Viper
By Richard Truett
Automotive News
August 27, 2008 - 10:13 am ET

DETROIT - The Viper sports car could be history - at Chrysler LLC.

The company said this morning that it is "exploring strategic options for the Dodge Viper business."

"This strategic review comes as the Company focuses on enhancing its core business and leveraging its assets," Chrysler said in a statement.

Here is what Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said about the potential sale of the Viper:

"We have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities for Viper," said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - Chrysler LLC.

"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.
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Perhaps the article is a bit misleading....this quote makes me think that they are talking about a partnership.
"We have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities for Viper," said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - Chrysler LLC.
Perhaps as Chrysler tries to find partners for all it's future programs, they are also looking for a potential partner for the Viper program as well.

Viper must be an expensive vehicle to engineer/develop/etc. I can remembe reading about how excited some executives were at the prospect of assembling the Chrysler Firepower concept because it would help them make better margins on the program overall. It was a win-win -- the mechanicals would be reused, but a cheaper, V8 engine would power the vehicle vs. the much more expensive V10.

That never became a reality - and may have been a blow to any future Viper development - or at least make it affordable.

Regardless, I don't think this will mean that the Viper will be going bye-bye or the platform will be sold off --- just that it may share mechanicals with a product from another company at some point.
 

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I thought Chrysler said the Viper was dead after its current run, sometime around 2011. I remember reading an article shortly after the Cerberus acquisition stating the company had stopped development on the next gen model.
 

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Daimler destroyed everything that was good at Chrysler. Cerberus is just finishing off the parts that Daimler missed. I used to be a huge Mopar fan before the "Merger" Not so anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought Chrysler said the Viper was dead after its current run, sometime around 2011. I remember reading an article shortly after the Cerberus acquisition stating the company had stopped development on the next gen model.
I vaguely remember that - but perahps this is a way for them to continue to produce such a product with the cooperation of another automaker?

But who would partner with them on this? It wouldn't be GM - and chances are it wouldn't be FoMoCo (they dont have the money).

Any European company that is looking to partner on something like this? Would Chrysler turn to the Japanese, the Chinese, or even the Indians?
 

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Awww, the Viper. I remember the Viper. It was cool back in 1992. Didn't really know that it still exists...

Guess if the waiting list is too long for the ZR-1 one could always get a Viper to tide them over...
 

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Pretty soon Cerberus is going to have the whole Chrysler product portfolio outsourced. Bob Naradelli is the kind of guy that is just concerned about the next quarters results. They obviously can't be bothered to spend a little time and effort to improve their products on their own. At least GM and Ford have realized that it is all about the product and have started to respond. They may have been late to the party but at least they are doing something that will hopefully pay off down the road and not just in the next quarter.
 

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Hey, GM and Chrysler should create a package-deal of Hummer and the Viper! They could share the V10! Surely some buyer would love to scoop up the two together... and they're a good match... big powerful brutish machines. I can picture the Viper with a 7-slot chrome grille, and the Hummers with side exhaust pipes...
 

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Introducing the 2011 Tata Wiper!

So they're giving away the good stuff, getting junk from Nissan. What's gonna be left of poor Chyrsler when Vultures-are-Us and the home depot jerk are done with it?
 

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Daimler destroyed everything that was good at Chrysler. Cerberus is just finishing off the parts that Daimler missed. I used to be a huge Mopar fan before the "Merger" Not so anymore.
I too share the same sentiments.
The original Viper was originally intended as a "bright spot" of "the dark ages of the K-Car."
Funny, as crude as the K-Cars were -- I'd rather have that lineup than the outsourced junk they are mostly peddling now.

The Viper is probably the second most successful American sports car after the Corvette. It deserves to live on. Ford has never had a 600 horsepower anything..... The Viper deserves better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The "On the Table" section over at Auto Extremist seem to think that selling the Viper off is a GREAT idea.

According to them, they believe that since the rest of the Chrysler ship is sinking unloading the Viper program will do two things - Free up cash for Chrysler recovery, but more importantly, allow the Viper's legacy to continue under new stewardship. That will certainly make the Viper faithful happy - regardless of Viper's corporate ownership.

At least that's what De Lorenzo believes.

Just adding it to the discussion.
 

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Chrysler's actual auto enthusiasts should stand up for the car. I would rather see the Viper just stop production than to be sold off or become a "joint venture". The other partner would neuter the Viper. If Chrysler wants to partner for another different sports car, that's fine. But don't tarnish the Viper's image.
 

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Wow... I mentioned last week that if Chrysler was having a yard sale, I'd take the Viper please.

The Viper is built in its own little 20-guy shop in Detroit with no other products, which also used to make the Prowler. It doesn't share any parts or tooling with any other Chrysler products. Seems like a really easy thing to just sell to someone, being as it's a product that is profitable, even at that extreme low volume.
 

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The whole point of the Viper was to be a "halo car" for the Dodge brand. That role is now being filled by the Challenger. If the Viper isn't generating any showroom traffic, why spend money keeping it around?

This could be the perfect project for a smaller builder looking to take over an established brand name.
 

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And I was dreaming of having Viper come back to ALMS with a factory effort rather than the non competitive GT-2 involvement they have now.........not in this lifetime I guess.
It would have been sweet to have some more American competitors. Hopefully the Ford GT's will get a little more support under the new rules too.
Corvette Racing is just too good I suppose. They're scaring everyone else away.
 

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Daimler destroyed everything that was good at Chrysler. Cerberus is just finishing off the parts that Daimler missed. I used to be a huge Mopar fan before the "Merger" Not so anymore.
ARE YOU SERIOUS!??! what did Chrysler have that was worth anything before the Daimler merger? hmmmmmm the MINIVANS, Viper, maybe the ram. THAT WAS IT.

after the merger they've got 300/Charger, better minivans, a new Viper, and much better Rams, never mind a much better Durango, and grand cherokee AND the Challenger! (all these platforms benifiting heavily from Daimler money and RWD/engineering/ quality expertise) dunno, product wise they are MUCH better now!
 

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This wouldn't actually be too different than the Ford GT which was largely developed and built by Saleen (I think it was Saleen, maybe Roush?)
 

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"This strategic review comes as the Company focuses on enhancing its core business and leveraging its assets," Chrysler said in a statement.



More seriously - some niche sports car manufacturer a la Saleen will take the shop and the model. Chrysler would have trouble keeping it on their CAFE and certifying the ancient car as street legal for the coming years. I guess both are much easier for a niche car manufacturer.

Meanwhile at Sterling Heights:

 
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