02-17-2010, 02:04 PM
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“Excess” Viper inventory is sold by Dodge to owner’s group
The Viper Club of America, an ownership group that claims to represent more than 25,000 dodge Viper owners from around the world, is buying some Viper parts, accessories and historical items directly from Chrysler Group.
The agreement announced today covers historic parts such as painted body panels from the Viper Competition Coupe that raced F-16 jets at Luke Air Force Base, and select “excess inventory” items from the Conner Assembly Plant in Detroit, where the Viper is still being built in small volumes.
In a statement, VCA said it will preserve older, legacy parts and tooling for those models that are no longer being built, such as the Viper RT/10 and Viper GTS, which both ended production in 2002.
Production is scheduled to begin next month of about 500 2010 model year Viper coupe and roadster models. A limited number of ACRX – racing – models are also in the build mix. After 2010, there will be a one-year hiatus in Viper production as Chrysler readies an update of the sports car.
It was not immediately clear to me why Mopar, the aftermarket parts brand and a profit center at Chrysler Group, would release the old tooling or the parts.
“Mopar continues to offer a full catalog of accessories and performance parts for Dodge Viper,” a Chrysler group spokesperson told our Col.
“Given our close relationship with the Viper Club of America, we agreed to this one-off agreement in order to help them raise funds for their efforts. This is a minimal amount of parts, most of which are excess and obsolete.”
No financial details of the transaction were provided.
“For some 15 years the club has worked hand-in-hand with Dodge to strengthen the bond between the consumer and the manufacturer,” said Chris Marshall, National President, Viper Club of America.
“This new agreement will help fund the club while the Viper is on hiatus, provide another source for OEM parts for Viper owners, and monetize inventory for the manufacturer where they may not have realized any income previously,” said Marshall.
The group announced the formation of Viper Parts of America, Inc. to provide a sales venue for these parts.
The new company has already received a large number of parts for immediate sale. (www.viperpartsofamerica.com)
“The Viper is a very important part of our performance car heritage, a true American exotic that first appeared on the North American auto show circuit back in 1989,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand.
“Our loyal customers that have purchased the car, along with so many other Chrysler products and services over the years, are equally important. Through our continued relationship with the Viper Club of America and Viper Parts of America, we want to preserve the Viper heritage for future generations. This agreement supports that and opens the door for Viper owners to take control of that preservation even after older models are no longer produced. It is a win-win for everybody involved,” said Gilles.
The Viper Club of America is a not-for-profit ownership club dedicated to the Dodge Viper and first formed in 1995 between Dodge and Viper owners as a social club and joint marketing effort.