AFTER OFFERING UP its Viper brand for sale earlier this year, Chrysler Group LLC has announced that it will now be keeping the V10 powered sports car as part of its Dodge range.
In a prepared statement the company said that the Viper would be produced ?through 2010 and beyond?. The about-face for the Viper sell-off reportedly comes after no satisfactory bids for the sports car division were received.
The Viper brand and the it's Conner Avenue production facility in Detroit will now form a part of the new Chrysler Group, which has recently emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
The Viper?s limited production volume and high price saw it singled out as a product that Chrysler could not afford to hang onto in a post-bankruptcy environment. The Viper?s 450kW 8.4 litre V10 engine and general disposition of excess led many to consider the car not suitable for a leaner, restructured Chrysler.
However, the news that Chrysler intends to keep the car as part of its stable should come as welcome relief for Viper fans.
"We're extremely proud that the ultimate American-built sports car with its world-class performance will live on as the iconic image leader for the Dodge brand," said Mike Accavitti, President and Chief Executive of Dodge.
Since production began in 1992, around 25,000 Vipers have been built, with the model being sold throughout the United States and Europe.