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  • Viper for sale

    Chrysler looking to sell Viper line
    Sports-car business sale could bring $100 million to financially strapped automaker

    By Bill Koenig
    and Mike Ramsey
    Bloomberg News

    Published on Thursday, Aug 28, 2008

    Chrysler LLC, now studying a sale of its Viper sports-car business, is following General Motors and Ford in looking to shed specialty vehicles and focus on main brands.

    In the past two years, Ford sold off its British-based luxury car divisions. GM is considering a sale of its Hummer line of sport utility vehicles based on military trucks. Chrysler said Wednesday it hired Lazard Ltd. to help in a review of options for the 600-horsepower, 10-cylinder Viper.

    ''When times are tough, you retreat to the core businesses,'' said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    The three U.S.-based automakers are scaling back as they are losing money, sales and market share in their home country. GM hasn't posted an annual profit since 2004, and Ford hasn't since 2005. Daimler AG sold Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management LP a year ago because of losses.

    Sales declines of 23 percent at Chrysler, 18 percent at GM and 14 percent at Ford this year through July trimmed market share for their U.S. brands to 47 percent, from 51 percent


    a year earlier, according to the research firm Autodata Corp.

    With losses and shrinking U.S. sales, the automakers might balk at putting more money into relatively low-volume vehicles such as Chrysler's Viper, which accounted for just 682 of the company's 965,935 U.S. deliveries through July, or GM's Hummer, which generated 18,035 of GM's 1.82 million total.

    ''You don't have enough money to fund everything,'' said Stephanie Brinley, a Southfield, Mich.-based analyst for AutoPacific Inc.

    Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally sold Aston Martin for $931 million in 2007 to a group led by British auto-racing champion David Richards, and Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.4 billion in June to India's Tata Motors Ltd.

    Mulally has said his top priority is getting his company's regional units to work more closely together, a strategy he calls ''One Ford.'' Ford has kept one European luxury brand, Sweden-based Volvo.

    Neither GM nor Ford has forecast when losses will end. Ford posted an $8.7 billion deficit in the second quarter, the worst quarterly deficit in its 105 years. GM's $15.5 billion loss during the period was third worst in its 100-year history.

    Chrysler is closely held and doesn't release detailed financial information on a regular basis. The automaker said on Aug. 1 that it earned $1.1 billion in this year's first half, excluding interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring costs.

    Chrysler is expected to use up $2.5 billion in cash during 2008, a person familiar with its finances said in May. Chrysler said it had $11.7 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June.

    CEO Bob Nardelli said Wednesday in a statement that Chrysler has been ''approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities for Viper,'' without identifying them. The company said it doesn't have a timetable for deciding.

    ''My bet will be they will definitely be able to unload it,'' for a price of ''maybe $100 million,'' said James Gillette, an automotive consultant at CSM Worldwide Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich., who does asset valuations for customers.

    Chrysler's announcement comes as it rebuilds sales of the sports car, which is its most expensive vehicle, with prices starting at $88,125. U.S. sales of the Viper more than doubled this year through July, already exceeding the 435 sold in all of 2007. Annual sales reached 2,103 in 2003.

  • #2
    It amazes me how companies can lose several billion quarter after quarter and still continue to operate. Wow...

    Interesting though how Chrysler is considering selling the line. Especially given the "horsepower wars" that Detroit is currently experiencing. With Ford upping the Mustang and Chevrolet rolling out the ZR1, I'm surprised Chrysler may consider bowing out.
    Greasin & Grinin
    Vegi oil powered since Aug 08
    2006 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Vegistroke converted 1/27/13!!
    2008 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold
    2005 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold

    Comment


    • #3
      Well Marv I think its more to do with pure #s they can move with the best Margins. That means the Viper is expendable. Then again in 1992 you could get a Viper off the show floor for $55,000, and now you can't get into one for less than $120,000. Now I know a lot has changed with the car itself but just inflating a cars price tag just because you think you can isn't always the best idea. The Viper is and was always supposed to be the Dodge answer for the Vett, and evan with inflation and modern technology cost, that car out the door shouldn't cost more than $90,000 fully loaded. The Viper is not an exotic nor should people try to put it in that category, but with its current price tag that is exactly where they have tired to position that car. 16 years and an increase top speed from 185 mph to 201 mph isn't worth the extra $65 Gs added to the price for car that is a domestic equivalent Corvette or Saleen Mustang. They could just lower the price tag which would boost interest in the car and move more #s and also simultaneously allowing americans to fall back in love with that car again. I don't know about you but a Viper doesn't evan turn my head any more. This is just one guys opinion so thanks for listening!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Vegistroke James View Post
        Well Marv I think its more to do with pure #s they can move with the best Margins. That means the Viper is expendable. Then again in 1992 you could get a Viper off the show floor for $55,000, and now you can't get into one for less than $120,000. Now I know a lot has changed with the car itself but just inflating a cars price tag just because you think you can isn't always the best idea. The Viper is and was always supposed to be the Dodge answer for the Vett, and evan with inflation and modern technology cost, that car out the door shouldn't cost more than $90,000 fully loaded. The Viper is not an exotic nor should people try to put it in that category, but with its current price tag that is exactly where they have tired to position that car. 16 years and an increase top speed from 185 mph to 201 mph isn't worth the extra $65 Gs added to the price for car that is a domestic equivalent Corvette or Saleen Mustang. They could just lower the price tag which would boost interest in the car and move more #s and also simultaneously allowing americans to fall back in love with that car again. I don't know about you but a Viper doesn't evan turn my head any more. This is just one guys opinion so thanks for listening!
        Haha...anytime James! I know where you're coming from on those cars...not quite as "exotic" as they used to be. I think if I had the money, I wouldn't be dropping it on a Viper...lots of other choices out there.
        Greasin & Grinin
        Vegi oil powered since Aug 08
        2006 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Vegistroke converted 1/27/13!!
        2008 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold
        2005 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold

        Comment


        • #5
          Dang, i better buy another one before they sell out!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CHenry View Post
            Dang, i better buy another one before they sell out!
            Yea you would!!! Lets get this out of the way now C-Man I don't want your damn hand me downs!!!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Vegistroke James View Post
              Yea you would!!! Lets get this out of the way now C-Man I don't want your damn hand me downs!!!!!
              LMAO....ah and i was about to send you an old pair of blue jeans with the Copenhagen ring in the back pocket...them west coast gals think its a condom ring...:chuckles::chuckles:

              Comment


              • #8
                No no no, the jeans I'll take. I may need to take them in a bit and add a another 1 1/2 foot to the length in both the legs and crotch but its all good.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vegistroke James View Post
                  No no no, the jeans I'll take. I may need to take them in a bit and add a another 1 1/2 foot to the length in both the legs and crotch but its all good.
                  The crotch ripped out 6 months ago....


                  I wear a 34 waste J Man...will that fit ya?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CHenry View Post
                    The crotch ripped out 6 months ago....


                    I wear a 34 waste J Man...will that fit ya?
                    Wow...haha. You guys went from Vipers to jeans with the crotch ripped out...talk about off topic!
                    Greasin & Grinin
                    Vegi oil powered since Aug 08
                    2006 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Vegistroke converted 1/27/13!!
                    2008 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold
                    2005 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marv View Post
                      Wow...haha. You guys went from Vipers to jeans with the crotch ripped out...talk about off topic!
                      :chuckles::chuckles::chuckles: You make me laugh Marv.

                      Comment

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