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Dodge Viper & Jeep Wrangler to be Axed

 Dodge Viper & Jeep Wrangler to be Axed
Dodge Viper ACR

Doom and gloom are written in the sections of the bankruptcy filing documents that deal with Chrysler's Viper and Jeep Wrangler brands. These documents refer to two Chrysler entities, one called OldCo and the other is the New Chrysler. OldCo assets would not be affected by the recently-announced Fiat/ Chrysler tie up and would ultimately be closed down by 2010.

These OldCo assets, including eight manufacturing plants and their machinery, have a book value of US$2.3 billion. One of them is the Conner plant in Detroit which has 115 employees who build the Viper products there.

Chrysler told Inside Line "Chrysler LLC is evaluating strategic alternatives for the Viper business including the potential sale of the Viper nameplate" and that there are interested parties to the sale. The Viper would be sold as a standalone title and/or with its associated plant and tooling resources.

But the worst deal seems to have been dealt to the Jeep Wrangler which is singled out in the papers specifically. Statements filed as part of the thousands of documents dealing with the bankruptcy say that a potential buyer for the Jeep Wrangler "would face significant additional investment costs in the range of $550 million to $1 billion... There are likely other significant costs that a potential buyer would have to incur in order to re-establish the brand."

They also make a point to mention how attempts to sell Opel, Saturn, SAAB and HUMMER have failed because of a current unwillingness by potential buyers to invest in standalone motor brands.

Source: insideline

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Comments (33)

Razz
I don't want to waste much of my time to write about american crap carmakers but to shut down the Wrangler is like killing the JEEP as a whole, if you ask somebody to tell you a Jeep model .. 1st name will be the Wrangler, the others are just some "other cars". Viper .. even the car is not so much of a performance machine like the 911 let's say, at the same price .. or it has strong reliability records .. it is a Brand, the VIPER itself is a car .. and if they kill it, what other name will fill the space left behind .. the Sebring :)))) (really crappy car) or Jeep Compass (some ugly car). Think again Chrysler LLC !!
May 7, 2009 1:06 am
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Xanavi23
If the Viper dies, now at least they have the Challenger, but its still a classic American car despite the great suspension and chassis which means a large but great engine. The point is, eventually it too will have to change to suit todays changing economic-er car market, so other than the Challenger, Dodge better get that mini-Viper looking electric car ready.
May 7, 2009 3:55 am
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pole_mccoy
For what concerns the Viper, it's a sad but logical decision. As a Viper owner and by the way a true Viper enthusiast, I know that the best thing for this automotive icon would be to be sold to a small sport car maker (like Saleen, AC, etc.). I know the Viper will survive, simply because of its goodwill. It's a famous sport car, a famous name, a famous design and this goodwill is actually specially cheap to purchase. In my opinion, it's not be impossible to see the brand sold back to the new Chrysler company in five to ten years, considering that Chrysler would become profitable again. For what concerns the Wrangler I don't get the logic... But let's not forget that these are actually pure speculations...
May 6, 2009 8:53 pm
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calimercedesbenz4u
I can understand their reasoning of cutting the Viper due to slow sales and a very small market share in a very competetive industry. however the Jeep wranger is truly an icon for the off road market worldwide.
May 6, 2009 6:45 pm
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DeRay
Or the Viper could go to Lingenfelter Performance Engineering since they already make tuning packages for it.
May 6, 2009 6:16 pm
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yulei
JEEP is a GREAT brand i think everybady agree it.But Chrysler ,seem unsignificance.
May 6, 2009 4:44 pm
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sideskraper
wait and see, both the viper and wrangler will survive. the wrangler will end up with an indian or chinese company (likely the same one that ends up with hummer). the tooling/vehicle etc is by no means obsolete in the "rugged" (ie: second/third world) markets. the viper, well who knows where that will end up. depends on how everything is structured (tooling/technology/rights/plant/pension/etc). it's more likely to end up with a small niche manufacturer than a large conglom, although who knows until more details are available. PSA might end up owning them!! ;)
May 6, 2009 3:19 pm
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Prince_Ash
honestly i think cutting the viper was good choice, since its an over priced gas drinker which in todays economy just doesnt fit properly. its just an over sized, too much muscle car that just doesnt belong now and here. but as for the wrangler, i see no reason to axe it. its a versitle vehicle and doesnt cause alot of emissions for its size. cutting this would be a mistake because for its price range cutting this would be taking a decent vehicle out of its class.
May 6, 2009 3:13 pm
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unknownuser
I beg to differ. The GenIV Viper is a performance bargain when comparing it to its competition. Also, there aren't many 600hp cars with an EPA highway mileage rating in the mid 20MPG range. No one rants about Ferraris and Lamborghinis being "over priced gas drinkers", but they cost a heck of a lot more and have worse gas mileage than the Viper. The Viper, like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, is not a everyday vehicle. People who can afford one usually have multiple cars, and drive the Viper on weekends. I hope a niche player (i.e. Roush, Saleen, Panoz etc.) buys the brand and continues to make the Viper in low volumes.
May 6, 2009 3:55 pm
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Madness
FINALLY!!! somebody in a high place has finally seen sense, and had decided to the the smart thing and cutaway the the biggest drains of the company... who knows, they might only lose a billion next year...
May 6, 2009 3:01 pm
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Xanavi23
Ya, and kill the only car, The Viper, that gives Dodge any balls. The Challenger is here now, but when that car was sleeping for 20+ years, it was the Viper that was taking down exotics that cost 3-4 times as much. You're clueless.
May 6, 2009 5:02 pm
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Madness
yeah.... that makes sense alright.... lets keep making a car which actually causes losses when sold, if only those "balls" that the viper gives Dodge could be turned into cash. Do u even know the aim of buisness? the aim is to make a profit, otherwise the buisness flops. So my friend, it is u who is clueless.
May 7, 2009 12:37 am
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Xanavi23
Where exactly do you get the idea Dodge had trouble selling Vipers ? They only built 2000 a year, and all found homes quickly. The Viper wasn't a cash cow but it was a hell of a lot less of an issue as to why Dodges business is horrible. That was left to cheaply built cars like SX 2.0 and Avenger which was a boring sebring clone save for the 3.5HI motor. Killing off the greatest car you've built in 20 years isn't smart. Killing off the car that shines its light down on all your other crappy models isn't a bright idea. The point of business is to make money, so why did Dodge like GM continue to build really crappy volume cars, that they were forced to sell for rock bottom prices that made them no money and also gave them a reputation for horrible reliability. This IS the reason the big 3 are in troubles, making **** cheap cars so they could continue building their trucks. Don't be foolish enough to think the Viper was what killed Chrysler. They did that just fine by themselves, no thanks to the Viper.
May 7, 2009 2:23 am
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pentium_fun
Killing the Wrangler is stupid. Dodge Viper on the other hand, even that I don't want to see it go, could become "collateral damage".
May 6, 2009 2:54 pm
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elsonlau
Like I said, if Fiat owns 20 per cent stake, the Dodge Viper will not be axed. And to improve performance, it will be used on either Ferrari or Maserati parts. The Jeep Wrangler, on the other hand, it can use Euro4 emission's engine from Fiat/Iveco engines. I just hope they can think twice again if they want these models to be axed.
May 6, 2009 11:36 am
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Bristol411S3
I repeat, anyone who thinks the Viper will live on under Fiat with a Ferrari or Maserati engine has been sniffing glue.
May 6, 2009 12:43 pm
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BENZian
I think it would be more likely that the Viper would maybe share the Alfa Romeo 8c's platform which is closer cost-wise...Fiat has stated that they would not include Maserati or Ferrari in the new company.
May 6, 2009 2:51 pm
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imthegg
I have never liked Jeep Wranglers, it is almost my least favorite car I have ever driven but I think killing it off would be ridiculous, Not just because it is so iconic, but as much as I hate to admit it, they are a very versatile vehicle, and they are pretty much the best option compared to other vehicles in their class. As for the Viper... I'd much rather see it as a stand-alone custom built sports car than disappear or even worse - imagine calling it the Ssangyong Viper!!!
May 6, 2009 7:18 am
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Xanavi23
You have post of the day. You don't like the wrangler but are able to respect what it can do. As well as its iconic status. You deserve Kudos.
May 6, 2009 5:04 pm
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danteskov
they should keep the Wrangler to a limited production scale so it could be profitable, because this segment as the super car segment is only for purist (and people who can afford them of course).
May 6, 2009 6:50 am
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danteskov
LOL no way with the Wrangler, it is like making harikiri on Jeep... Jeep = Wrangler, they should axe the other crapy vehicles like compass, patriot and commander...
May 6, 2009 6:47 am
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DeRay
Hofmeyer I don't believe the Jeep Patriot is worth keeping at all. they only need the Cherokee and the Wrangler. I feel strategy is the key in business and they put to many useless vehicles out on the market you don't make new vehicles if your not selling the ones you have. Fiat has to streamline Chrysler or otherwise they stand to lose money merging with them. That's just business and I'm pretty sure they looked at the sales of the vehicles mentioned prior to making the decision.
May 6, 2009 6:01 am
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Pentium
They will kill the only 2 good cars the company make!! no wonder then why Chrysler is going under...
May 6, 2009 5:45 am
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hofmeyer
Its a shame that either vehicle has to go away, both being icons. Poor sales are obviously to blame as neither the Wrangler or Viper are sold in large numbers. I don't think killing off Jeep would be a huge loss, most of the other cars they build are just that, cars. Outside of the Grand Cherokee (once the Wrangler is gone) the rest of the lineup is lousy. Does anyone really think the Jeep Patriot is worth keeping around?
May 6, 2009 4:33 am
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phavyarden
whaaat!!!! this is simply the end of Chrysler. Viper forever will be rule the world, i wish the model be sold to Saleen or Roush
May 6, 2009 3:52 am
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unknownuser
The Viper's demise was eminent. Chrysler planned to cease production in 2010 or 2011. I'm sure current Gen IV Viper owners are happy to hear the news. It will make their version scarce, and eventually increase value. Ironically, this is the best Viper yet. I'd like to get my hands on an ACR. However, I don't understand the Wrangler decision. I agree...the Wrangler is an icon. What's Jeep without the Wrangler?
May 6, 2009 3:34 am
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jslcarfan
amen.
May 6, 2009 1:45 am
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paulbe
Stupidity. I suspect Fiat are only doing this because they want Jeep. That's why Chrysler took over AMC way back when. I therefore don't understand why they would kill off the most iconic car in the Jeep line yet leave crap like the Compass in place.
May 6, 2009 1:36 am
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