no shock that sales of Chryslerís new Viper are a
fraction of Chevrolet Corvetteís. The differences
between Viper and íVette are profound, and they say a
lot about conditions at Chrysler and General Motors when
the companies developed Americaís top sports cars.
Viper costs more, has a shorter history and is built
virtually by hand. íVette prices start at about half
the Viperís sticker price. Corvette has 60 years of
equity and its factory can produce 10-20 times as many
vehicles annually as the Viper plant on Detroitís east
all that, itís troubling that the Viper didnít even
approach its modest goal of 2,000 sales in the new carís
first model year.
2014 Corvette Stingray has a new architecture, engine
and transmission. Itís a thoroughly modern sports car
on par with Porsche and Ferrari.
2013 Viper is a raucous, brutally powerful throwback to
the days when sports cars were fast, uncomfortable and
hard to drive, and if you didnít like it, too bad.
vastly better than the old model that went out of
production in 2010, but it uses modified versions of
that carís platform and engine.
in GMís darkest days, work on the new 2014 Corvette
never ceased. If GM survived the Great Recession, the
Chevrolet Corvette would, too. The company and the car
contrast, Chrysler considered selling the right to build
Vipers to another automaker. Production ceased for more
than two years until SRT boss Ralph Gilles and Fiat CEO
Sergio Marchionne resurrected the car to boost morale
and cash flow. They leaned on Fiatís Ferrari and
Maserati brands to add comfort and luxury, but the Viper
got a fraction of the time and money that went into the
new Corvette Stingray.
difference shows in the cars and their sales prospects.