Like other recent Chrysler products, the Viper suffered through a slow, poorly executed launch. But that’s only part of the problem holding back SRT’s halo car.
SRT CEO Ralph Gilles shared his thoughts with Ward’s Auto during last week’s L.A. Auto Show.
“I don’t think our network understands the segment very well,” he said. “I think the mistake we’re making is understanding the customer who spends $130,000 to $140,000 for a car. They want what they want – their color, their stripe, their package, their interior. And dealers were trying to anticipate the market ended up creating a car that may not be the right car.”
Chrysler went to what might have seemed like considerable lengths to vet the dealers it allowed to stock its V10-powered supercar, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. Dealers with the right to sell snakes need established sales records with performance cars and SRT vehicles. If approved, dealers must undergo additional training to service and sell Vipers including a $25,000 technician training program. The initial strategy doesn’t seem to have worked.
Now, Chrysler is launching another training program called the “All Access Tour” that pairs dealers with current Viper owners and potential customers. Some stores have as many as four Vipers sitting without buyers, a problem that is aggravated by the fact that base cars start at $97,395, but well optioned versions slide quickly into six-figure territory.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
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