Open For Business: SRT Viper to be Made in Detroit

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The picture above shows SRT Brand and Motorsports President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Gilles at the Conner Avenue (Detroit) Assembly Plant in 2010. Next time he takes this photo, there will be a 2013 SRT Viper behind him.  

Chrysler Group LLC will reopen its Conner Avenue
Assembly Plant in Detroit for the production of the next generation SRT
Viper. With the plant’s reopening, nearly 150 jobs, both hourly and
salaried, will return to the City of Detroit. The Conner facility was
idled when production of the Dodge Viper ended in July 2010.

“The next generation Viper will make its return to the product
lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model,” said Ralph Gilles, President and
Chief Executive Officer – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC.
“We’re extremely excited that our ultimate American sports car will
continue to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City.”

Chrysler Group hourly employees who previously worked at Conner were
first offered the opportunity to return to their home plant. The balance
of the positions will be filled by hourly employees volunteering to
transfer to the Conner Avenue plant.

In preparation for the
reopening, the Conner facility will begin its transformation by
implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a system that is focused
on reducing waste and making continuous improvements throughout the
assembly process to improve quality and productivity.

Perhaps the biggest news here is not the reopening of the Conner facility; the press release which sprung the story labels the next Viper as the SRT Viper, making no mention of the former Dodge moniker. That means the SRT Viper is going to be the first car branded solely as an SRT model. Not a bad way to kick off a brand name, eh?

Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant,
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 Vipers.

Author: Larry Jewett

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