Viper production slowed by one third due to sluggish sales

johniew398

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I think you just tapped into it's primary problem, not having an automatic. Don't get me wrong, I love shifting, but lets look at some facts. >80% of vettes are automatics. Same for 911's and R8's. I had a friend of mine tell me two years ago a manual was both stupid and out of touch. I said explain and he pointed out a manual today is slower (less performance), more difficult to master for the masses, terrible in traffic, gets worss mileage, etc. He described it as rolling up windows, turning on your headlights or wipers, or playing with the heater in your car. Why would you want to do any of that now when you have electric windows, auto headlights/wipers/climate control. At the end of the day, his is right. His performance point was it was the equivalent on not wanting ABS brakes because you wanted to master braking without them, even though slower. Again, at the end of the day, he is correct. So, the last thing I would do is market the car around it being a manual. That target audience is tiny and shrinking every day.

Boost sales by offering what a large % of people want:
1) automatic (account for 80% of sold in segment)
2) conv (account for ~30-40% of sales; vettes and viper stats from the past)
3) ACR (account for 15%?)

I owned an 09 ZR and it only came with a manual. I think even the later model ZR1's only come with a manual.

My wife's SL550, I know it's not really a sports car, has paddle shifters. That's great and I've tried it; but if I was interested in straight line speed with her car it would be faster just leaving it in full auto, paddle shifters would be great on a track.

As far as the niceties such as electric windows, auto headlights, full climate control, etc., yes I like all that; but I will enjoy just driving a manual.

Having said all that do I believe they should offer two transmissions in the Viper? Yes, a six speed like they do + this one as an option:

 

Nambo

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Ordered in the fall of last year and was supposed to be in the second wave of 13's as I wanted aero and exterior carbon. Switched to a TA back in March when the 2nd wave was essentially cancelled and because the TA had everything that I wanted. So to be honest it is not all SRT's fault as I did change my order.
 

Bill Pemberton Woodhouse

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Actually GTS-R 01, FerraritoVipers note does not prove that most Viper buyers are past Viper buyers at all, and since he got rid of a Ferrari to get a Viper he is one of the folks that switched over. Without a doubt we have had a good share of past Viper owners buy new Vipers, but it has been a banner year for folks from other brands.

1. Lambo owners who bought first Viper --- 2
2. Ferrari owners who bought their first Viper--- 2
3. Porsche owner who got their first Viper --- 1
4. Corvette buyers who switched over first time --2
5. Buyers getting their first Viper , but not sure of prior vehicles -- 4-5

That is just quickly remembering off the top of my head and I do know I have deposits for 2014s from 3 folks who are new to the brand. Plenty of return Viper owners, but not a bad number of inquiries and buyers from competitive brands, so just answering a statement that honestly can not be validated by our experience. I am probably light and over the years we have always seen alot of Corvette converts.

Respectfully,
 

PeerBlock

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I'm a new viper owner; never had one prior to the Gen 5 mainly because I wanted a car like the gen 5 in terms of luxury while having the raw performance that only the viper can offer.
 

Derek Short

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I think you just tapped into it's primary problem, not having an automatic. Don't get me wrong, I love shifting, but lets look at some facts. >80% of vettes are automatics. Same for 911's and R8's. I had a friend of mine tell me two years ago a manual was both stupid and out of touch. I said explain and he pointed out a manual today is slower (less performance), more difficult to master for the masses, terrible in traffic, gets worss mileage, etc. He described it as rolling up windows, turning on your headlights or wipers, or playing with the heater in your car. Why would you want to do any of that now when you have electric windows, auto headlights/wipers/climate control. At the end of the day, his is right. His performance point was it was the equivalent on not wanting ABS brakes because you wanted to master braking without them, even though slower. Again, at the end of the day, he is correct. So, the last thing I would do is market the car around it being a manual. That target audience is tiny and shrinking every day.

Boost sales by offering what a large % of people want:
1) automatic (account for 80% of sold in segment)
2) conv (account for ~30-40% of sales; vettes and viper stats from the past)
3) ACR (account for 15%?)

Im thinking the same thing why sales are not what they should be. As much as i love having a manual gearbox i think by SRT not offering a option of manual or paddle it is hurting them. If they want to attract new non previous viper owners they will have to go with a paddle shift option. I do remember hearing someone say it would cost something like 60 million to design and put it in the viper. Seems a bit much to me... but what do i know.... just saying that could be why they havn't put paddles in the viper.

Also the convertible and a acr version would help sales to no doubt.
 

ViperSmith

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I am not really sure what I'd have bought if there was a DCT option. I love the manual, but a DCT would be fantastic for around town (even though I don't mind shifting at all).
 

v10enomous

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I think the car will catch on when people start seeing them out on the road and at events like C&C's. I watched a Launch Edition roll through a Corvette show and people's jaws were hanging. The only thing is that the car seemed a lot quieter than I expected being the first GenV I have actually heard running.

If one of the dealers gives me a GenV I would be happy to take it on tour for them:D
 

SADVIPER

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The whole new breed of buyers is a dellusion give it up guys.
A guy buys a car because he likes it he knows its history its legacy not just like that from first year! yes you can name the casual odd numbers but not a whole new breed. I always wanted a Viper since 1996 and the release of Gen V changed nothing I still want a Viper.
 

PDCjonny

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1. Lambo owners who bought first Viper --- 2
2. Ferrari owners who bought their first Viper--- 2
3. Porsche owner who got their first Viper --- 1
4. Corvette buyers who switched over first time --2
5. Buyers getting their first Viper , but not sure of prior vehicles -- 4-5

That is just quickly remembering off the top of my head and I do know I have deposits for 2014s from 3 folks who are new to the brand. Plenty of return Viper owners, but not a bad number of inquiries and buyers from competitive brands, so just answering a statement that honestly can not be validated by our experience. I am probably light and over the years we have always seen alot of Corvette converts.

Respectfully,
No offense Bill but since you're one of if not THE biggest dealer in the country that's not exactly the exodus of crossover shoppers SRT expected.
 

Bobpantax

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I do not know how difficult it would be to produce this variant but it is bold, mean and threatening. I like it.

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Endeka

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I'm a Corvette owner who is planning to switch over. I'm only not getting a Gen V because it's a life policy of mine to never finance luxuries. The new car is very appealing. It's just that the marketing is so awful that you have to dig a bit to figure that out.
 

BlueLIGHTNING

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As I have said before its only 800 cars which should have sold out without any issue to current owners alone. With money not being an issue just saying why aren't current owners not upgrading?? What's keeping this car in the showrooms and not on the streets? We can blame marketing but anyone who is into cars knows the Viper is out, it made pretty much every magazine cover when it was first shown. I think now anyone who is interested is waiting for fire sale since everyone knows they are not selling. Idk population of North America is roughly 350 million and SRT can't sell 800 measly cars??
 

SnakeBitten

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^^^Love the front end but Id do away with the afterthought cannards and that cheezy wing at the back. Id replace that wing with the carbon dove tail spoiler that hasn't been released yet.
 

05Commemorative

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The 10 Gen V owners that post in this forum is hardly a sample size worth noting, I was simply saying we exist. Unless you actually have real figures you can quote, to validate this "1%" claim.

Also, Ralph simply stated they can produce up to 2,000 a year, not that they would.

Is that really a valid statement? By that I mean, how many totally GenV owners are even active on this forum? 20 or 30? 10 seems like a significant %. Remember, if they sold ~400 so far, just realize a very small % participate on forums.

I still think trying to sell to existing viper owners would me a massive flaw in strategy.
 

05Commemorative

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The whole new breed of buyers is a dellusion give it up guys.
A guy buys a car because he likes it he knows its history its legacy not just like that from first year! yes you can name the casual odd numbers but not a whole new breed. I always wanted a Viper since 1996 and the release of Gen V changed nothing I still want a Viper.

Respectfully, you might be describing yourself, but I don't think the masses. I don't believe buyers in the $110k-140k price range are too caught up with history/legacy, but instead go buy the item they believe best fits their needs. They might be caught up in the brand, but even that only goes so far. As an example, I am not buying a new corvette because I love its legacy of the mid-years from the 60's. I didn't buy a viper due to its legacy of the gen1/2's. My point is, I could care less what prior models were like because I am not buying them.
 

Bobpantax

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The rear wing shown is of the adjustable type. The optional aero package spoiler is fixed. The front cannards are functional as they were with the Gen IV ACR.
^^^Love the front end but Id do away with the afterthought cannards and that cheezy wing at the back. Id replace that wing with the carbon dove tail spoiler that hasn't been released yet.
 

TrackAire

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As I have said before its only 800 cars which should have sold out without any issue to current owners alone. With money not being an issue just saying why aren't current owners not upgrading?? What's keeping this car in the showrooms and not on the streets? We can blame marketing but anyone who is into cars knows the Viper is out, it made pretty much every magazine cover when it was first shown. I think now anyone who is interested is waiting for fire sale since everyone knows they are not selling. Idk population of North America is roughly 350 million and SRT can't sell 800 measly cars??

As a current Viper owner, I can give you some honest reasons as to why I did not buy a Gen 5 yet:

-I have a modded Gen 4, which is probably faster than a stock Gen 5. So for me, there is no performance advantage to justify moving up to only 640 hp. I also really love the looks of a Gen 4 coupe but think a Gen 5 is a stunner.

-I have real problems with the lack of being able to tune the computer, plus all the little issues with SRT not having any accessories available in a timely matter for us to purchase....I'd be real pissed of at this point if I owned a Gen 5. As owners start working on the cars, we see other little things like the ESC issue pulling timing on the dyno, launch control issues at the track, etc. These would not be big deals if SRT would explain how to get around them or modify the existing platform to minimize these issues but the silence is deafening.

-I never buy the first year production of any vehicle due to knowing there will be updates and improvements to work out kinks. This has served me well except for the 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha. GM shut down production after only one year with the Duramax motor. Now those dang things are selling for more than MSRP if in good condition. Plan was to buy a 2007....oh well.

On the plus side I really think the car looks great. The interior looks fantastic. The track performance is literally world class, even stock. I'm predicting that if one was to really want a 2013, then April of 2014 would be the time to buy. Chrysler will want to make 2nd quarter sales look strong company wide. With dealer and employee type of incentives/rebates, I'd suspect discounts of $15k to $25k will be available on 2013's. So if I really wanted to by a Gen 5, I'd buy a 2013 since there appears to be very little difference between the 2013 and 2014's but I'd wait until April of 2014 to make the purchase.

Just one current owners opinion.

Cheers,
George
 

Westxsrt10

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As a current Viper owner, I can give you some honest reasons as to why I did not buy a Gen 5 yet:

-I have a modded Gen 4, which is probably faster than a stock Gen 5. So for me, there is no performance advantage to justify moving up to only 640 hp. I also really love the looks of a Gen 4 coupe but think a Gen 5 is a stunner.

-I have real problems with the lack of being able to tune the computer, plus all the little issues with SRT not having any accessories available in a timely matter for us to purchase....I'd be real pissed of at this point if I owned a Gen 5. As owners start working on the cars, we see other little things like the ESC issue pulling timing on the dyno, launch control issues at the track, etc. These would not be big deals if SRT would explain how to get around them or modify the existing platform to minimize these issues but the silence is deafening.



-I never buy the first year production of any vehicle due to knowing there will be updates and improvements to work out kinks. This has served me well except for the 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha. GM shut down production after only one year with the Duramax motor. Now those dang things are selling for more than MSRP if in good condition. Plan was to buy a 2007....oh well.

On the plus side I really think the car looks great. The interior looks fantastic. The track performance is literally world class, even stock. I'm predicting that if one was to really want a 2013, then April of 2014 would be the time to buy. Chrysler will want to make 2nd quarter sales look strong company wide. With dealer and employee type of incentives/rebates, I'd suspect discounts of $15k to $25k will be available on 2013's. So if I really wanted to by a Gen 5, I'd buy a 2013 since there appears to be very little difference between the 2013 and 2014's but I'd wait until April of 2014 to make the purchase.

Just one current owners opinion.

Cheers,
George

George, I've been checking prices on new GenV's and they are already discounting $15k-$25k off MSRP> see Autotrader. 2013 SRT are below $100k.
 

cashcorn

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I'm still wanting a roadster!! I wish Dodge would get off there ass. Really! ***. If your going to continue your product. Step-up and deliver what your customers want. Chevy/Ford are very good listeners. Maybe that is why they kick ass in sales! IMHO....... just venting... ********. lol:drive:
 

ferraritoviper

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No offense Bill but since you're one of if not THE biggest dealer in the country that's not exactly the exodus of crossover shoppers SRT expected.

Well, we don't know what SRT's target was for crossover buyers, or at least I don't. There are what, 300-400 SRT Viper dealers. We don't know what these dealers were allocated. Lets use the lower number of 300 dealers, say 2 cars allocated to each one, and 50 cars each to the big four...total 800 cars. Using the above numbers of Woodhouse crossover buyers, thats almost 25% (or use 15%, still not too shabby) of allocation to crossover buyers at their store alone. Yes, I know, what about the 14's...I used 300 dealers to offset that.

Anyway, my point is, one can't really determine exactly what is going on, without hard facts to work with. I'm betting SRT is laughing all the way to the bank :)
 

ACRucrazy

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I agree. More/cooler colors are a + and reasonable cost of stripes would be nice. Package that with a convertible and less GTS', Viper would have sold quite a bit more IMO.
 

ferraritoviper

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<<If the GenV was introduced with a convertible / Coupe choice they would Most likely have sold out.>>

<<Or if they made more SRT's in colors other than Red, Black, or White! And add some stripes!>>

And if the Queen had balls, she'd be King...:)
 

SSGViper

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Actually GTS-R 01, FerraritoVipers note does not prove that most Viper buyers are past Viper buyers at all, and since he got rid of a Ferrari to get a Viper he is one of the folks that switched over. Without a doubt we have had a good share of past Viper owners buy new Vipers, but it has been a banner year for folks from other brands.

1. Lambo owners who bought first Viper --- 2
2. Ferrari owners who bought their first Viper--- 2
3. Porsche owner who got their first Viper --- 1
4. Corvette buyers who switched over first time --2
5. Buyers getting their first Viper , but not sure of prior vehicles -- 4-5

That is just quickly remembering off the top of my head and I do know I have deposits for 2014s from 3 folks who are new to the brand. Plenty of return Viper owners, but not a bad number of inquiries and buyers from competitive brands, so just answering a statement that honestly can not be validated by our experience. I am probably light and over the years we have always seen alot of Corvette converts.

Respectfully,

Whooooo Hooooo! Them vipers are selling like hot cakes! Keep up the great work Bill!
 

chorps

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I think the Viper is in a strange spot right now, too expensive for the plebes and too cheap for wealthy.

I get thumbs up from most people, and I went cruising with some other guys a couple of weeks ago. A viper was there earlier but he went home (ACR, identical to mine).

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Most of the other guys were nonplussed by the Viper, but one fellow with a Murcielago was quite nice, seeing as he just sold his 2005 Viper and a 2008 Viper before that. He quietly confided to me that some of his Lambo buddies didn't even want to associate with him when the Murcielago guy was driving his Viper(!)...after that he even asked me if I thought that a lot of Viper owners were "rednecks."

In many ways Vipers have had the reputation (undeserved or not) of being cars that Corvettes wanted to be when they grew up...that is a legacy that comes in part by being a relative bargain, being American and being crude. Everyone acknowledged the Viper was fast, if not the fastest car around...they just wanted to tilt their noses at it.

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Not sure if the Viper will be able to smash the glass ceiling, but I think marketing and management severely underestimated the snob factor and their ability to overcome it.

Takes a lot of careful marketing and time to do that...putting a great interior in the car won't erase a lot prejudices and misconceptions about the Viper in one model year.
 

PDCjonny

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You know it is possible to own a Lambo or an exotic and not be a snob, despite what most Viper owners think. I think a lot of people just assume that because of their own insecurities. I know plenty of exotic car owners and when we get together anyone is invited and it's a totally eclectic group ranging from modded Subaru's through base C5 Vettes to Aventadors and beyond. And we're all friends. It's also possible to like exotics because you like how they perform, how finely they are made and how they sound. Does that make you an elitest snob? Trust me it's quite intoxicating to hear that V-10 right behind your head screaming as you rev it out to 8K let me tell you. ANY true car guy can appreciate that sound. I hate that mentality that anyone who owns a car more expensive then my XXXXX just bought it for status.
 

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