It's been a wonderfully wild ride.
Over the past week or so we’ve learned that the Dodge Viper’s future isn’t looking too bright. Early word on contract negotiations between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the United Auto Workers union (UAW) seemed to indicate that the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant, where the Viper is hand-built by around 80 employees, will be shut down in 2017. And now we’ve learned that contract was officially ratified on Friday morning by UAW members. A solid 77 percent voted in favor.
Overall, it’s a good deal for both the automaker and its employees, but sacrifices had to be made, among them the demise of the Viper. Despite a triumphant return to market in 2013 after a three-year absence, Viper sales have never really met expectations. Its price tag was even cut in order to lure buyers to no avail. But perhaps the Viper’s final death notice was, ironically, partially caused by (SUVs and turbocharging issues also apply) the Challenger SRT Hellcat, which is both more powerful and less expensive. Very different cars, we know, but the Hellcat quickly became Dodge’s halo model. It’s what everyone wanted. And so it goes, Dodge Viper. We’re really going to miss you.