By on September 24, 2012

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?


Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


16 Comments on “Selling The Viper Costs As Much As Buying A Dart...”

  • avatar

    No different than being an SVT dealer in the 90s and getting to sell the Lightning, Contour, and Cobra. And then ponying up extra to sell the Cobra R (both versions).

  • avatar

    Ralph knows how much markup will be on that, and wants some of it.

  • avatar

    Ah, so now the creation of a standalone SRT brand makes more sense. Existing dealer franchise agreements are for specific brands. New brands, and cars sold under those new brands, aren’t covered by existing contracts. If the dealers want to carry the new in-demand hot product, they’re going to have to pay more. I wonder if Chrysler made dealers pony up when they rebranded the truck line to Ram.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    why not have the customer order directly from Dodge and then have it delivered to a nearby dealer who in turns gets a small fee for the service?

  • avatar

    $25K is not much. I recall the VW dealers’ investment to sell the Phaeton (back in the day) was on the order of $100K.

    • 0 avatar

      No wonder there were so few sold.

    • 0 avatar

      I understand the market and what not, but…

      For the taxpayers investment (and the fact Chrysler shut down several thousand dealers), Fiatsler should pay the DEALERS $25k to sell the overpowered, overpriced (especially with the availability of Challenger), understeering, ugly shoe.

      And those SRT Cherokees, will they be Italian or American built? lol

      • 0 avatar

        And you know it understeers how? Have you ever driven a Viper? It’s quite capable in the right hands.

      • 0 avatar


        I have driven a Viper. Granted, it was over a decade ago, I was 18, and was used to driving a third-gen Camaro. And FWIW, this particular Viper was a second gen GTS, a salvage title ex SCCA car and thus, maybe it wasn’t exactly ‘pristine’. And that one DEFINITELY had understeer.

        I have also driven TWO NSXs. Both 2005s, both with just the 30mi put on at the test track in Suzuka by the time it got to the USDM. NSX, albeit about half the horsepower and slightly more expensive, would eat Viper for lunch in every-day driving.

        I got the Viper up to about 100mph on a 10mi windy road that ran along side a lake. The NSX to 145mph, mostly straight-line, but some cornering. Both times I had to back off the throttle to avoid police :)

        Yes, it’s been a while, and the fumes and chem from being a ‘loser grease monkey’ the past 10+ years may hinder my ability to pilot such a ride now.

        Moral of the story, kids, if you love cars, do not become a mechanic by trade. It turns you into an Accent driver (or, ‘the ride of choice’ for a lot of ‘wrenchs’ here in the Twin Cities, a mid-90’s Olds or Buick). O…M…G…

      • 0 avatar

        You have to remember that the whole chassis of the Viper is adjustable – not just the typical front toe like most cars, but you can also adjust front and rear caster and camber and rear toe as well. Add to that the fact that you can adjust front dynamic toe by either adding or removing shims from the steering rack and rear dynamic toe by changing shim plates for the toe control links and you have a vehicle that really takes some expertise to set up properly. To do it right, It also must be aligned at “design height” which requires the suspension to be loaded down below curb height by a certain amount.

        The Vipers I’ve driven had what I would describe as “mild to almost nonexistant” understeer which is probably a lot safer than oversteer. Plus, it’s plenty easy to dial in oversteer with the skinny pedal :)

        My brother in law was giving me some guff a few weeks back about how the Vipers have issues with a particular corner at PPIR but Corvettes don’t. I countered with my assessment that either the drivers don’t know how to handle the car properly or they aren’t set up right, which is what I suspect was wrong with the one you drove – bad set up/alignment.

        It’s hard to argue with the fact that the Viper holds the ‘ring record, so it’s clearly capable when set up properly and driven by someone who knows how to get the most out of the car.

  • avatar

    Did they do this with the old Dodge Viper?

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, they did.

      My father always bought his Mopars from a patient of his, a small full-line ChryCo dealer called Meyer Auto (since 1928) in Monroeville, IN, just east of Fort Wayne. His “showroom” was painted cinderblock on the inside and fit one car, sometimes diagonally based on size. Typical new car inventory was about 20 vehicles, used about 10, and most of his sales were ordered vehicles (total sales, about 300 a year). He was the whole sales department, his brother and nephew were the service department.

      We bought a lightly used Viper from him (sourced from a ChryCo dealer auction in Detroit) so he could avoid these costs, since he sold us all new cars $300 over invoice. Previously, a gentleman ordered a new Prowler from him and made it clear it would never be driven, titled, or serviced, and the plastic would be kept on. It was not to have any miles put on it. The dealer still had to send one of the two technicians away for training and pay whatever those fees were at that time.

      Sad epilogue: His franchise was culled during ChryCo reorgination because of market overlap and unwillingness to make a flashy new facility, although his sales were waaaaay above what the facility and market would suggest. Mere months later (albeit stressful ones), he collapsed dead into his 60th birthday cake. They are now a NAPA service center, and the town constable (the third brother) still gets dealer pricing on his (the town’s only) patrol car.

      Sorry for the length, but I thought the story was worth sharing, and I don’t comment much here, although I view most every story.

      • 0 avatar

        Sounds very much like Chrysler’s formerly oldest operating dealer (as of the 2009/10 culling) Beckman Chrysler of Mt. Oliver PA, founded in I believe 1914. Still on their third generation (and those daughters are prob in their early 60s) they still operate as a used lot and may still have access to the Chrysler sale at the auction since they have a few low mileage 2012s on their lot.

        I ‘get’ the need for culling and then I don’t… if someone can move a hundred new cars a year for you and whom may have done business with you for generations, then why cut them and ruin their small business.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dantes_inferno: FCA motto: Dodge testing. RAM into production.
  • Schurkey: A few years back, I treated myself to a Challenger 5.7 Hemi rental car for several days when vacationing on...
  • SCE to AUX: I was shocked to see an SSR in the wild the other day. The Hummer EV will do better, but I wouldn’t...
  • SCE to AUX: Yeah, I’ll bet the engineers didn’t think of that. Have you seen the armor plate under the...
  • CaddyDaddy: Ya, but when Dalton got to Missouri and the Roadhouse, the Riv was the one to go with for the Dirty Work.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber