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Dodge Uses Documentary to Advertise Viper

Brand institutes new program to allow one-of-a-kind builds.

by on Jan.09, 2015

Dodge is looking to jump start sales of the Viper with a documentary about how the car is built in Detroit.

During the last four years, FCA US, the former Chrysler Group, has gotten a lot of mileage out advertising strategies emphasizing the story behind the car and focusing on the grit and determination and the Motor City authenticity that go along with brands such as Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.

Now Dodge is taking a different angle in hopes jump start sales of the Viper with a marketing campaign that emphasizes the car’s unique blend of power, performance, exclusivity and craftsmanship. The campaign centers on a documentary entitled, “Viper: DNA of a Supercar,” captures the passion of the designers and craftsmen that create the vehicle.

Power!

Tim Kuniskis, the head of the brand also, showed reporters a 20-minute film that shows how the Viper is “hand-built” by FCA US craftsmen at the company’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit. (more…)

Dodge Restarting Viper Production in November

Big price cut drives surge in orders for 2015 model.

by on Oct.29, 2014

Dodge is restarting Viper production next month with the 200 preorders for the 2015 model.

Viper fans take heart! Chrysler Group announced plans to begin production of the company’s halo sports beast next month with full production coming mid-November.

The automaker stopped production of the 2014 Dodge Viper SRT due to sluggish sales. However, after a $15,000 price cut that reduced the entry point to just under $85,000, sales took off. Not only did the maker lower the price, they allowed all Dodge dealers to sell the car.

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As a result, in September dealers sold more than two times as many as they did during the year-ago period: 108 compared with 45. It was also the first time the maker reached (and surpassed) the century mark in one month. Reports suggest that October results will be similarly impressive. (more…)

Chrysler Dumps Viper Racing Program

Move comes after program takes home championships.

by on Oct.07, 2014

Chrysler cut its SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program just after it won two championships.

After taking home a championship trophy last weekend, the Chrysler Group has dropped the Viper racing program supported by its Street and Racing Technology (SRT) unit.

“Our company has made a business decision to discontinue the SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program,” said Ralph Gilles, senior vice president of Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC, who has headed up the SRT program, which Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had considered making a separate brand at one point.

Stay in the Loop!

“We are very proud of the amazing achievements our fantastic teams, drivers and partners have achieved on track the last few seasons,” he said. “We thank them for their hard work, effort and commitment to SRT Motorsports. Its been an honor to be a part of the inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and we wish them every success in the future.” (more…)

Chrysler Demands Auto Shop Vipers Be Destroyed

Maker believes old models provide no educational value.

by on Mar.07, 2014

Chrysler Group denies that any of the 93 Dodge Vipers it donated to schools across the country have been involved in any accidents. They are simply no longer useful educational tools and aren't historically significant so they should be crushed.

The actions of a few rogues are coming back to haunt hundreds of unsuspecting innocents across the country, at least, that’s what students involved in an auto shop program thought when they received orders from Chrysler Group to destroy the 1992 Dodge Viper used by the program for educational purposes.

South Puget Sound Community College was ordered to crush the Viper that was donated to the program a decade ago within two weeks. According to reports, a Chrysler official said that a couple of the 93 Vipers donated across the country had been involved in accidents while driven by students, costing the company millions.

What a Concept!

The cars are still technically the property of Chrysler, thus the automaker was on the hook for any issues and now they considered the cars a liability and want them destroyed. (more…)

Dodge Viper Redux

Chrysler confirms late 2012 launch…and more.

by on Apr.15, 2011

A Dodge Viper "mule" undergoes testing before the snake's planned return in late 2012.

The snake is back.  Well, almost.  We were pleased to get a teaser shot of the 2013 Dodge Viper, though we’d have been a lot happier if it was the actual next-gen 2-seater, rather than a “mule” using the old model’s body and the ’13 Viper’s mechanicals.

Still, Dodge muscle aficionados will have something to crow about, Chrysler confirming earlier promises to revive the legendary sports car.

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The latest corporate missive is short on details, though it does suggest that the maker has given into modern realities and won’t follow the path blazed by the first-generation Viper, which eschewed high-tech niceties, such as anti-lock brakes.  One of the few things the Dodge news release reveals is that the 2013 Viper will be getting stability control for the first time.

We’ll have to wait to see just how much more high-tech gadgetry and gimmickry it will feature, but the full array of brake-derived systems is a likely.  More advanced chassis controls may also be in the mix considering competitive realities.

(more…)

Chrysler’s Gilles Drops Hints About Viper Revival

Starting to “feel like Santa’s workshop,” says design chief.

by on Feb.12, 2010

Chrysler Division boss and corporate chief designer Ralph Gilles says lots more products are coming.

Is the snake slithering its way back into the Dodge line-up?  Apparently so, according to some less than subtle hints by Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s executive vice president, during a speech to the Chicago Economic Club.

Gilles, who does double-duty as both design chief and director of the Chrysler division, was a last-minute substitute for planned speaker Sergio Marchionne.  The Chrysler CEO wound up in Russia, however, signing a multi-billion dollar deal that will allow the maker and its Italian partner, Fiat, produce an assortment of products for the booming market.

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For Viper fans, the switch in speakers could be seen as fortuitous, as Gilles confirmed the U.S. maker is definitely working on an all-new version of the Viper, a halo car for the Dodge division and Chrysler, in general.  He did not provide many details, however, so that leaves aficionados to guess when the sports car will return and precisely which Fiat Group product it will be based on.  Most “insiders” are hinting the revived Viper could be back in the line-up by 2012 or ’13, about the same time a flood of other new Chrysler and Fiat-based products debut.

(more…)