Home / Automotive / News / The Dodge Viper Is Dead ' And Its Assembly Plant Will Soon Die Too


It's official: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will be permanently closing its Conner Assembly Plant in Detroit on August 31st this year as the production of the legendary Dodge Viper comes to an end.

Back in 2015, FCA mentioned it was planning to end production of the low-volume, high-powered $90,000 sports car but no date had been cast in stone other than '2017'. Now they've done it, and with no replacement planned either.

The reason? Well, basically, without side curtain airbags it can't meet the new safety regulations which go into effect in September this year. Thus, production of the Viper will end in August. FCA has been celebrating Viper's sun-setting production for more than a year now though, and it's thought that poor sales figures are another contributing factor for pulling the plug.

Unfortunately, over the years, workers at the Conner Avenue Plant have suffered frequent layoffs as Viper sales waxed and waned, but they still chose to stay at the plant because of its special nature first within Chrysler and later within FCA itself. FCA has ensured that it would be able to offer positions to more than 80 employees – who build Vipers by hand – at other locations. 

The plant operated as a bespoke car assembly facility in terms of the hand-assembly and painting process each Viper underwent. In fact, back in 2014, the Viper was voted into the tenth spot on the "Most American Cars" list, meaning 75% or more of the vehicle's parts were manufactured in the US.

All things considered, the Dodge Viper has had a great innings. Conceptualised in 1988 and in production from 1992 (with a brief hiatus from 2010-2013), its super-long bonnet and cockpit set way back created a distinctive shape that had pimply-teenagers around the world sticking posters of the Viper to their walls. It's an icon that screams U.S.A, and it will be missed!

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