The Truth About Cars » ralph gilles The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:00:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » ralph gilles Viper Sales Slow, Inventory Grows, Production Cut. Gilles: Potential Buyers “Intimidated” By Car’s Reputation Thu, 03 Oct 2013 16:46:04 +0000 viperimg_0193_r

Citing increased inventory due to slower than expected sales, Chrysler will cut production of the SRT Viper from 9 cars a day to just six and reassign some of the workers at the Conner Avenue assembly facility that assembles Chrysler’s V10 powered sports car.

Ralph Gilles, who runs the SRT brand in addition to being in charge of styling for the Chrysler group, said that quality control issues slowed the new Viper’s deliveries to the 443 Chrysler dealers that are certified by SRT to sell the Viper.

The reintroduced and redesigned 2013 Viper was revealed at the New York Auto Show in April of 2012 but deliveries didn’t start until a year later.  “We got off to a late start. We had hoped to begin shipping vehicles late last year, but we shipped the first 67 units in April,” Gilles told Automotive News.

Priced at $104,480 for the 2014 model year, including destination charges and a day of professional driving instruction at a race track, production of the reintroduced Viper was initially slated to be limited to only 2,000 cars a year. Sales, though, have not even reached that figure, with only 426 units for the first eight months, leaving dealers with 565 Vipers in stock, which is equivalent to a 289 day supply at current sales rates.

“We’re really looking at the reality of this type of car in this economy, as well as us controlling the market and making sure that we don’t overbuild,” Gilles said, saying that interest in the Viper is strong and that the company booked 2,000 dealer and customer orders for the 2013 calendar year, which includes the new 2014 models that are now being built at the Conner plant.

Gilles also attributed slow sales to seasonal factors, saying, “We typically do very well with the Viper in early spring.” The Viper is somewhat notorious for its ability to break traction and while the new Viper now complies with U.S. federal standards that require electronic stability control, its high performance tires are not meant to be used in snow, so the car is not expected to sell well over the winter months.

To increase demand, Gilles said that SRT would organize a road show, visiting Viper dealers in the Southeast as part of a program to encourage potential buyers to take test drives. Part of the problem is the car’s reputation as a potentially dangerous car to drive. Some dealers have been reluctant to let consumers with unknown skills to test drive the Viper. “We really have to focus on putting butts in seats,” Gilles said. “A lot of people are unnecessarily intimidated by the car.” The test drive road show will be expanded to other markets early next year.

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Chrysler Prepping Aussie-Spec 300C SRT8 Superleggera Fri, 21 Dec 2012 14:00:29 +0000

With stiff competition coming from both Holden’s HSV sedans and the Ford Falcon FPV, Chrysler is looking to make the 300C SRT8 more competitive by offering a decontented version, that’s actually a bit quicker than the standard-spec car.

The SRT currently retails for $66,000 AUD, about $2,000AUD more than an equivalent HSV Clubsport. The stripped-out version would sell for around $60,000. Features like the adjustable suspension, forged wheels and radar-based cruise control would be absent, but ultimately would have no effect on the car’s performance.

According to the Brisbane Times, Australia is SRT’s largest market outside the United States – the base versions of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon may be sliding down the sales charts, but Australians are still buying the hottest V8 versions. Even Mercedes AMG division reports that Australia is one of its best markets.

Perhaps if we lean of Ralph Gilles hard enough, we’ll finally get an Aussie muscle car here, in the form of the fat-free SRT8. I’m sure there are plenty of customers who would be more than willing to settle for a slightly less opulent SRT8, if it saved them six grand and a couple tenths in acceleration times.

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QOTD: “You Are Full Of Shit” – Ralph Gilles to Donald Trump Thu, 01 Nov 2012 19:55:57 +0000

Pursuant to our continued discrediting of the “Jeeps built in China” lie, Donald Trump took to Twitter to further propagate that falsehood. And the Donald ended up getting a virtual earful from Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler’s SRT Division.

The Trump tweet that launched a thousand shits reads as such

Obama is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China–and will!

Gilles took a direct and concise course of action, one that may even qualify him for a Farley Award. Now, if I can find an auto exec willing to rebut a silly question from a journalist inquiring why their new product’s rear sway bar isn’t 2mm thicker, I will die a happy man.

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Selling The Viper Costs As Much As Buying A Dart Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:46:44 +0000

Chrysler dealers hoping to sell the SRT Viper will have to pony up $25,000 – about the price of a loaded Dodge Dart – to be able to sell the supercar.

What does the $25 grand get you? The $25,000 fee is actually part of a two-tier system, outlined by Automotive News as such


“• For $5,000 each, any of the 2,347 Chrysler Group dealerships may buy a base agreement for tools, equipment, training, signs and, perhaps most important, preferential ordering and additional allocation of such vehicles as the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, says Ralph Gilles, head of the SRT brand.

• For an additional $20,000, the high-performance agreement also permits dealers to sell the Viper.”

SRT boss Ralph Gillies described the typical SRT buyer as “…much higher income, much higher education levels…”, which could be marketing speak for “we’re not selling them to office cleaning company founders anymore”. Of course, the bit about “additional allocation of SRT Jeeps”, is an interesting clause too, isn’t it?


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