>> Saturday, May 9, 2009
Long before factors like bankruptcy and Fiat’s involvement, Chrysler was looking to offload the Viper line. Several potential buyers were reportedly being considered, but months down the line no deal has been announced. In the meantime, of course, Chrysler has announced it will be filing Chapter 11 before restructuring in a new partnership with Fiat. But what of the Viper at this point?
According to emerging reports, it could face the axe. Chrysler says it is still considering offers on the Viper line, but an in-depth analysis of the company’s restructuring strategy suggests that the Viper would fall into “OldCo”, the term applied to Chrysler’s liabilities and bad assets that will be shed during the bankruptcy process. The Conner Avenue Assembly plant where 115 workers build the Viper is one of several earmarked for potential closure, along with Chrysler’s facilities in Newark, Twinsburg, Kenosha, two plants in St. Louis and the Detroit Axle factory. Although the Viper is an entirely different beast to the exotica built by Fiat subsidiary Ferrari, considering what the Dodge supercar represents, we couldn’t imagine Fiat being too eager to keep the Viper alive.