By Patrick Rall
While it occurred with far less fanfare than most new
models, the 2013 SRT Viper assembly line began producing the incredible new
Mopar supercar earlier this month. On
December 5th 2013, around 150 workers went to work building the
first copies of the 2013 Viper and Viper GTS but unlike a “normal car” that
would begin hitting dealerships almost immediately – the Chrysler Group is
putting these first 2013 Viper models through a rigorous quality control
process that will delay the delivery to dealerships and owners around the US.
Typically, when an important new model like the 2013 Viper
enters the first phases of production, an automaker will issue a statement
announcing the start of production which is usually accompanied by images of
the very first vehicle in question coming off of the assembly line and maybe an
anticipated date of delivery. This has
been true of many Dodge and Ram products including the 2013 Dodge Dart and the
2013 Ram 1500 but the start of 2013 SRT Viper production began quietly at the
Detroit Connor Avenue Assembly Plant on Wednesday December 5th. There was no formal ribbon cutting ceremony,
no lengthy press release about the 2013 Viper packed full of things that we already
knew, no images of 2013 Viper #1 as it left the assembly line and no
proclamation of the beginning of production along with the expected date as to
when these vehicles would reach dealerships and happy new owners.
When the 2013 SRT Viper was introduced earlier this year,
the Chrysler Group expected production at the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in
Detroit to begin in November and this led many to expect that the first copies
of the 2013 Viper would be in the hands (and driveways) of new owners before
the end of the year. However, November
came and went with no mention of 2013 Viper production and as December drew to
a close – we still had not heard anything about the production of the new Mopar
supercar. That caused me to begin
dropping notes into the inboxes of Chrysler Group communication specialists,
asking for some status on the 2013 SRT Viper.
Much to my delight – those efforts paid off as I received my reply
yesterday afternoon from Chrysler’s Dan Reid.
Dan hit me with an official company statement explaining
that production of the 2013 SRT Viper had started on December 5th. He also told me that the “Chrysler Group is
taking extraordinary measures to ensure that every SRT Viper meets our
stringent quality standards before it leaves the plant.” These extraordinary measures are time
consuming so unlike many new vehicles that leave the assembly line and quickly
hit dealership lots around the country, Chrysler is putting these first new
Mopar supercars through an extreme quality control process that will slow the
delivery to dealerships (and to new owners).
The result of those extra processes is that the first 2013 Vipers to
reach consumers might not do so until February 2013
While some of the people who plan to buy a 2013 SRT Viper
will surely be disappointed that they might be waiting until February to go for
a ride in their new American supercar, this increased quality control process
will help the Chrysler supercar to be free of any of the “bugs” that can often
plague the first batch of new cars.
Chrysler knows that they cannot afford to have any unexpected problems –
especially those stemming from production issues – so the company is going to
time their time and make damn sure that these cars are flawless before shipping
them out to dealers and owners around the US.