Chevrolet dealers eagerly await the first batches of new Stingray Vette’, getting ready to satisfy all the customers that waited and didn’t opt for the other testosterone-churning sports car assembled on Detroit’s east side – the Viper.
The comeback of the SRT Viper, showed in New York more than a year and a half ago, was among the signs showing Chrysler’s recovery. And it was also among the industry’s most exciting revelations of 2013.
But the Viper came very late – the spring of this year — more than a year after its reveal in New York — and through September only 426 have been delivered, less than 10% of the year-to-date sales of the Corvette. Even Tesla’s all-electric Model S, which is in a similar price range as the $100,000 Viper, sold 1,950 in September alone.
Chrysler had forecast sales of more than 1,600 Vipers for 2013. Now, the company is slowing daily production by about 30% at its Conner Avenue assembly facility and relocating some workers to other nearby plants.
While the new 2014 Corvette Stingray, which went on sale in August, is about 50% cheaper than the Viper, the comparison is inevitable.
“They are both American performance cars, but they are very different cars,” said General Motors spokesman Monte Doran.
Chrysler stopped making the Viper in 2010 because of financial shortages, but decided to bring it back after Italian automaker Fiat took control. Meanwhile, the Corvette was on the roll, even adding a ZR1 supercar version, which could tackle the offerings from competing European brands.