Chrysler Is Slowing Viper Production Since You Won't Buy Them

Here's another Chrysler product you're not buying enough of: Slow sales of the SRT Viper has led to a temporary shutdown and layoffs at the automaker's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.

The Viper is the only car currently assembled top to bottom in Detroit*, so for a little more than two months this year, the Motor City will be a little less productive. The Detroit Free Press reports that 91 workers at the plant will be affected by layoffs.

One could easily point out that maybe a $100,000 supercar isn't at the top of everyone's shopping list right now, but Automotive News points to an issue often overlooked when we talk about why desirable cars don't sell: Dealerships.

SRT brand head Ralph Gilles launched a new marketing campaign for the Viper late last year in which factory teams visit Viper dealers to allow consumers to test drive the hand-built sport coupe.

Gilles said that many dealers keep the expensive cars, which list for over $100,000, locked in their showrooms, limiting sales. The test drive teams started their marketing push in the South over the winter, and will expand north as warmer weather returns.

It's not all bad news, as Chrysler is hiring 800 workers to build the Chrysler 200. But coming off the heels of layoffs at the Dart assembly plant, it seems FCA has some work to do to balance out its production schedules.

*Before you say the Grand Cherokee and Durango at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, remember that the engines for those trucks are built elsewhere.