US: is the Dodge Viper dying… again? image

The future of the Dodge Viper supercar appears once more to be uncertain after sales of the model, which is highly revered by motoring enthusiasts, have been rather shameful since the model was relaunched with much fanfare back in 2012.

According to a product plan that has been linked through the tentative deal the carmaker has inked with the UAW union, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles might move to cease production of the Dodge Viper SRT starting with 2017 without introducing a successor. Deliveries of the model have been thoroughly disappointing since the third largest US automaker decided to resuscitate the legendary sports car back in 2012 – with the company constantly having to negatively readjust the employee and production count at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, where it is being manufactured by hand. According to a letter that belongs to the new tentative four-year contract agreed last week between the carmaker and the UAW has the production of the Viper set to end in 2017.

The uncertainty regarding the plans for the Viper production has to do with the $5.3-billion U.S. investment strategy outlined by the Auburn Hills-based company and disclosed in its proposed contract agreement with the UAW. The investment plan will have the carmaker adding 2,959 jobs over the next four years at certain assembly facilities while moving to cut some 2,856 positions at other plants – leading to a net gain in the employee base of just 103 jobs. The new contract proposal is now awaiting the ratification process of around 40,000 Fiat Chrysler employees represented by the UAW in voting that is expected to take place next week.