With all the hype around the 2013 SRT Viper, it might be surprising how little coverage the car’s delayed arrival is getting.
“I apologized to our dealer base,” SRT CEO Ralph Gilles said to the Detroit Free Press. “We are just holding ourselves to a higher standard.”
Delivery was originally expected to begin by the end of December, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. Instead, the anticipated return is looking more likely to happen in mid-February.
“To say it bluntly, the old Chrysler would have shipped them out already,” Gilles said. “It’s really a hand-made car, so it takes a little finesse to get everything perfect.”
According to the Detroit newspaper, Chrysler plans to build 1,600 Vipers this year, 800 of which are already spoken for. The books are closed on the scheduled other half until February, at which point the brand will re-open registration for dealers — probably to preempt possible hiccups in selling the high-end car.
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That’s likely due to the rigorous process dealers planning to sell the car need to go through. As few as 100 showrooms are expected to carry the car when the apparent production slowdowns are settled.
Dealers deciding to distribute the Viper are required to undergo certification that costs $25,000.
“The SRT cars are starting to pull in a very, very interesting demographic — much higher income, much higher education levels. The customer is becoming more sophisticated,” Gilles said last September.
That fee includes a $5,000 toolkit and a certification program that tacks on the extra $20,000 and is meant to make sure the stores in question are actually up to selling a six-figure car.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
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