Chrysler reopens Detroit plant in preparation for next Viper
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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