Chrysler reopens Detroit plant in preparation for next Viper

December 13, 2011 - 2:19 pm ET
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group said today that it has reopened its shuttered
Conner Avenue assembly plant in Detroit to produce the next generation of
the SRT Viper sports car starting in late 2012.
The plant was idled in July 2010 when Viper production ceased. The
next-generation Viper will be a 2013 model, Chrysler said.
The first of what will be about 150 workers, both hourly and salaried, have
returned to the plant to begin preparations to restart production, Chrysler
said.
"We're extremely excited that our ultimate American sports car will continue
to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City," said Ralph
Gilles, president of the SRT brand and motorsports for Chrysler Group.
Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack assembly plant in
Detroit, then moved to the Conner Avenue site in October 1995. All Vipers
that rolled off the line were hand-built in a low-volume, modular process.
Over the course of 15 years, Conner Avenue employees built about 12 vehicles
a day for a total of 22,070 first-generation Vipers.
In 2003, Chrysler introduced the V-10 powered SRT10 Roadster, followed by
the SRT10 Coupe in 2005. The company produced 28,056 second-generation
Vipers, and idled the Connor Avenue plant when production ceased.
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