By Patrick Rall
During a recent broadcast interview with the media, SRT
President and CEO Ralph Gilles stated that around 1 in 5 Chrysler Group
dealerships around the US will have the opportunity to sell the 2013 SRT Viper. Gilles believes that the 2013 Viper will
bring in a new type of customer and to make sure that these new supercar buyers
have a great experience – both in buying and owning the new Viper – the Chrysler
Group is laying down some serious requirements for dealerships interested in
carrying the new Mopar supercar.
There will be a variety of determining factors that will go
into helping Chrysler Group management decide which of their 2,400 dealerships
will get to sell the 2013 SRT Viper but the financial wellbeing of the
dealership will play a major role.
Dealers that wish to sell the 2013 Viper will have to be willing to buy
a collection of special tools and other equipment to service the Viper while
also providing special training for technicians and the sales staff. Dealerships who sell the Viper will also be
expected to make some renovations to their facilities that will likely include
a special area to showcase the new supercar.
Gilles believes that only about 1 in 5 Chrysler Group dealerships
will be able to perform these requirements but even then, not all of those
dealers will be approved to sell the 2013 SRT Viper. The Chrysler Group management will also
consider the past Viper sales success and the current SRT brand sales figures
of those dealerships who apply to sell the Viper – meaning that even if a
dealer can pay for the special items, the special area and the special
training; if they haven’t sold enough Vipers in the past or SRT models
recently, they may not be granted permission to sell the Viper.
In the long run, Gilles believes that as few as 15% of their
dealership body will carry the 2013 SRT Viper with the number topping out around
20% – leaving a great many dealerships around the country without the new
supercar. This will not have much effect
on those smaller dealers who likely wouldn’t sell a Viper anyway but it sucks
for those Mopar enthusiasts in Anytown USA who are hoping for their smaller
local Dodge dealer to get a Viper to check out in person.