By Patrick Rall
SRT Viper deliveries continued to ramp up through June 2013 with 97 examples of the stunning American supercar reaching happy new owners around the country. While sales numbers are still fairly low relative to the industry averages, Chrysler continues to reach “record” figures for the new Viper in each month since the first unit left the factory back in February. In total, SRT has now official sold 226 new Vipers with 1 in February, 3 in March, 60 in April, 65 in May and the 97 delivered last month.
When the Chrysler Group introduced the 2013 SRT Viper, SRT boss Ralph Gilles stated that the company expected to sell around 2,000 units a year but due to the painstaking quality control process of the 200+ mile per hour supercar, the early delivery process has been slower than many people expected. Because of this, the rate of delivery is significantly lower than the rate of production as quality control specialists at the Connor Avenue production facility scrutinize each and every new Viper built before it heads to the dealership responsible for delivery. Due to this slow going quality control process, there is a huge log jam of new Vipers patiently waiting to be shipped out but that means that we can most certainly expect to see sales figures continue to climb over the next few months. At the end of May (June production numbers have not yet been released), the company had produced 506 Vipers while delivering just 129. Even if NONE were built in June, the surplus from previous months after the 97 were delivered last month would leave somewhere in the area of 280 units still in stock at the plant…and again, that doesn’t include production from June. In short, there are lots of Vipers on the way.
Just how much can we expect to see the Viper sales figures climb?
If we do some quick grade school math, Ralph Gilles goal of 2,000 SRT Vipers per year averages out to about 167 vehicles per month. The company is well below that average right now but that it due to the production, the late start to deliveries and quality control constraints – not the lack of interest from prospective buyers. At this point, every Viper that leaves the Connor Ave plant is spoken for and we can expect that to be the case well into the 2014 model year that is set to begin production later this month. There have been rumors that Chrysler plans to build around 3,000 Vipers for 2014 to make up for the time lost for the 2013 model year Viper and if the company has gauged the interest correctly, those 3,000 vehicles sold over the course of 12-14 months would average out to 215-250 per month during the sales period of the 2014 Viper. Mind you, we are far more likely to see a big peak in sales at one point but with delivery rates still well below half of the production rate – Chrysler is well on pace to balance production and delivery over the next year.