September 2014 Sales: $85K Viper Sells Like It's March 2008
This is what you read two months ago on TTAC: “FCA won’t build this car forever if it remains unwanted. Long live the Alfa Romeo 4C?”
The mission for the Viper team then became, how do we make it desirable? Better yet, how do we make it desirable tomorrow?
Over the span of a few days or weeks, the Chrysler Group wasn’t going to inject a barrel full of cash into R&D for a new Viper, perform stress tests, crash tests, performance tests, complete styling mock-ups, consult the Viper-owning faithful, and begin delivering cars to dealers.
But they could drop the price by $15,000, creating a base MSRP of $84,995. Suddenly for September, the Viper was priced like it was two decades ago, adjusted for inflation.
Suddenly, U.S. sales rose to the highest level the Viper has seen since January 2009, when 127 were sold, a follow-up to the Viper’s 152-unit December 2008 performance.
The Viper topped 100 units on six occasions in calendar year 2008: in March, April, May, August, and December.
One month does not offer enough evidence for a thorough sales analysis, but the turnaround is still too distinct to ignore. August sales had fallen to the second-lowest total since the latest Viper arrived early last year. The summer season generated just 158 sales between June and August, a 21% year-over-year drop from the 200 sold during the same season one year earlier.
Can the now $85K Viper maintain this heady level of output? Assuming Dodge/SRT sell another 324 more in the fourth-quarter of 2014, the Viper will have enjoyed its best sales year since 2008, although the total in that assumed case (870 units) would be down 26% from ‘08 levels, when 1172 were sold.
Keep in mind, 2008, when sales jumped 169% year-over-year, was not an especially good time for the Viper. 1511 Vipers were sold in 2002, 2103 in 2003, 1782 in 2004, 1652 in 2005, and 1455 in 2006.
Nevertheless, the year-over-year growth achieved by the Viper in September 2014 is notable. Volume shot up 140%, a gain of 63 units. Automotive News reports that Dodge will begin building Vipers again in mid-November after the price cut began moving substantial portions of dealer inventory. By that time, Viper production will have been idled for more than one-third of 2014.
With Viper numbers ascending, we can’t ignore the upward movement from two other sports cars. Nissan GT-R sales more than doubled to a Viper-besting 159 units, a gain of 83 sales compared with September 2013. GM, meanwhile, sold 2467 Corvettes in September alone, a 197% year-over-year increase, equal to 1636 units.
Only four other passenger cars produced greater year-over-year gains than the Viper in September. Audi’s A3 (up 33,329%) wasn’t really on sale a year ago. The Mitsubishi Mirage (up 6600%) did not put a full month under its belt last September. Mercedes-Benz’s scarcely available B-Class EV was up 3150%. And the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (up 393%), with 1909 September sales, continued to teach every automaker a lesson in how to sell $94,400-$222,000 cars.
Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
- Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
- John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
- ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 ( Bronze or Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
- Scott "It may not be the ideal hauler to take the clan cross-country to Wally World considering range anxiety "Range Anxiety is a chosen term that conceals as much as it discloses. You don't care about range that much if you can recharge quickly and current BV's (battery vehicles) can't, no matter how good the chargers are. From what I've been reading it is likely that within 5 years there will be batteries in cars, most likely Tesla's, that can charge fast enough with no harm to the batteries to satisfy all of us with no need to increase range beyond a real world 300-ish miles.And that's when I buy one.
I love the Viper and it would most likely be my choice in it's price range. I wonder how many people commenting have ever sat in let alone driven one? The car definitely isn't for everyone but if you enjoy s visceral experience the Viper delivers. I do think the gen V was priced too high when initially released. I'm glad the price cut is bringing more buyers into showrooms.
Man I wish I had more money, my first house 5 years ago was 91k....