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FCA closes Detroit plant as Dodge Viper nears end of production

July 17, 2017 0 Comments

The Conner Assembly Plant in Detroit, home of Dodge Viper production since 1992, is closing permanently on August 31 as FCA ends Viper production.

In FCA’s 2015 contract with the UAW, the automaker announced that the Viper, a “low-volume, high-powered $90,000 sports car,” would stop production in 2017.


FCA is ending production because the two-seater sports car “cannot meet new safety regulations” beginning September 1. No replacement for the plant has been planned.

The Viper debuted in 1992, undergoing updates in 1996, 2003, and 2008 until Chrysler’s bankruptcy ended the Viper’s run in 2010. A “redesigned version” hit the market in 2013, but it came with a “big price increase” at a time of improved competitors, which hurt Viper sales.

The Conner plant employs over 80 people who build the Viper by hand. On June 30, FCA issued a notice with the state of Michigan that said it “expected it would be able to offer positions to all of [the] affected employees at other locations.”

Those employed at Conner Avenue have suffered frequent layoffs over the years as sales “waxed and waned,” but many employees chose to stay at the plant due to its “special nature first within Chrysler and later within FCA.”

The Conner plant is FCA’s smallest assembly plant in North America, and the Viper has been built there over 25 years.

The Viper sold 630 units in 2016, 8.7 percent less than its 2015 numbers.

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