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Thread: Dying Viper?

  1. #1
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Dying Viper?



    I was talking to a friend who is planning to buy a Viper in a few years. He said he was told today that he needs to get one before the end of the 2010 year as the holding company that bought Chrysler doesn't plan to keep making it. Once the current design runs it's course, by by Viper. Anybody else hear this?
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  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch


    I was talking to a friend who is planning to buy a Viper in a few years. He said he was told today that he needs to get one before the end of the 2010 year as the holding company that bought Chrysler doesn't plan to keep making it. Once the current design runs it's course, by by Viper. Anybody else hear this?
    I doubt that.

    While the Viper has never made money (just like the Corvette, by the way) it is a huge image draw for Chrysler (again, just like the Corvette).
    These cars exist to help the automaker sell other cars by making the brand, in general, seem exciting, "with it," etc.

    Camaro failed because it was intended to be a volume car.... which is why it will likely fail again. Ditto Challenger, unfortunately.



  3. #3
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    At least there were few developmental costs associated with the Challenger, since it's just another restyle of the 300/Magnum/Charger platform. So they won't lose much when it tanks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by grouch


    I was talking to a friend who is planning to buy a Viper in a few years. He said he was told today that he needs to get one before the end of the 2010 year as the holding company that bought Chrysler doesn't plan to keep making it. Once the current design runs it's course, by by Viper. Anybody else hear this?
    I doubt that.

    While the Viper has never made money (just like the Corvette, by the way) it is a huge image draw for Chrysler (again, just like the Corvette).
    These cars exist to help the automaker sell other cars by making the brand, in general, seem exciting, "with it," etc.

    Camaro failed because it was intended to be a volume car.... which is why it will likely fail again. Ditto Challenger, unfortunately.




    If Chrysler wasn't owned by a holding company, I'd say you're right. However, holding companies are usually run by what amounts to a text book case of psychopaths. A psychopath has no loyalty to anyone but himself (or herself). Upper management draws them like flys. In the short term, this is often good for a company but in the long term, they scoot after they get all they can from the company. Remember the 80's when so many companies were milked dry and investors lost their money? Enron is the most recent and egregious example that comes to minds. Never call a biker (a term I dislike but everybody knows what I mean) a psychopath. They may be a little sociopathic but they do at least have loyalty to other members of the motorcycle club.
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  5. #5

    Re: Dying Viper?

    it is actually true
    the viper has been slated for the axe in 2011
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  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by grouch


    I was talking to a friend who is planning to buy a Viper in a few years. He said he was told today that he needs to get one before the end of the 2010 year as the holding company that bought Chrysler doesn't plan to keep making it. Once the current design runs it's course, by by Viper. Anybody else hear this?
    I doubt that.

    While the Viper has never made money (just like the Corvette, by the way) it is a huge image draw for Chrysler (again, just like the Corvette).
    These cars exist to help the automaker sell other cars by making the brand, in general, seem exciting, "with it," etc.

    Camaro failed because it was intended to be a volume car.... which is why it will likely fail again. Ditto Challenger, unfortunately.




    If Chrysler wasn't owned by a holding company, I'd say you're right. However, holding companies are usually run by what amounts to a text book case of psychopaths. A psychopath has no loyalty to anyone but himself (or herself). Upper management draws them like flys. In the short term, this is often good for a company but in the long term, they scoot after they get all they can from the company. Remember the 80's when so many companies were milked dry and investors lost their money? Enron is the most recent and egregious example that comes to minds. Never call a biker (a term I dislike but everybody knows what I mean) a psychopath. They may be a little sociopathic but they do at least have loyalty to other members of the motorcycle club.
    This is true - but I am pretty sure Cerberus wants to be rid of Chrysler long before 2010, or the end of the current car's life cycle. And even given psychopathology, I think dropping the crown jewel of the Chrysler portfolio makes little sense - from a business viewpoint. They're not bleeding white because of Viper; that's just a small eddy in the grand scheme of things...

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    it is actually true
    the viper has been slated for the axe in 2011
    Don't believe it.

    I don't!

    It's one thing to ditch the Challenger; cars like that come and go. But Viper is Chrysler's Corvette - the only model it has that is truly a world-class machine. Without it, Chrysler cedes prestige it desperately needs to GM, Ford and everyone else. It becomes a second-rate player not just in fact but in perception - which is probably even more significant.

    As I wrote to Grouch, I think they key factor here is Viper doesn't cost Chrysler a huge sum to maintain; it is not the reason why the company is in trouble. The Pacifica is. The Avenger is. The Sebring is. The Commander and Caliber and Patriot are. Etc.

    Arguably, the much bigger potential bleeding will come from Challenger - a risky proposition that required a lot of investment and which will (unlike Viper) depend on volume and profitability to justify its existence.

    I don't expect that car to last more than three years.





  8. #8

    Re: Dying Viper?

    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    Yep; but rumor and what ends up happening are often different!

    I've been around long enough to remember when Ford was supposedly going to drop Mustang. And GM the Corvette. Was it contemplated? Sure. But eventually, smarter heads prevailed. That is what I would bet happens with Viper.

    There is little reason to drop it, from a business point of view - and a lot of very good reasons to keep it.

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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    There is little reason to drop it, from a business point of view - and a lot of very good reasons to keep it.
    I'd say there's every reason to drop it from a business point of view. It's the sort of product 'car people' make; 'car people', as has been demonstrated time & time again, aren't good at running a profitable business. Maybe a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water, but try explaining that to a bean-counter...

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Viper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Brand
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    There is little reason to drop it, from a business point of view - and a lot of very good reasons to keep it.
    I'd say there's every reason to drop it from a business point of view. It's the sort of product 'car people' make; 'car people', as has been demonstrated time & time again, aren't good at running a profitable business. Maybe a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water, but try explaining that to a bean-counter...
    Actually, a car company tends to be profitable when it has "car people" in charge; or at least, on the upswing. A good case in point is GM. During the Roger Smith era, when bean counters ruled, GM produced one boring car after another - and marketshare went from 60 percent to 24 percent. Now that "car people" are back in charge - and with them, interesting product, GM's fortunes are improving.

    Also look at Chrysler. It really snapped back under Lutz - a consumate "car guy" - and big supporter of the Viper....

    Cars are not appliances; people want quality, yes - but it's also about emotion. People want style, performance and excitement. "Bean counters" are clueless when it comes to these things....


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