Chrysler has restarted Dodge Viper SRT production after a two-month hiatus caused by an accumulation of unsold examples. Production was halted earlier this year on April 14 at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, with at least 91 hourly workers being laid off as dealerships attempted to bring inventory down from a collective 756 available nationwide as of March 1, 2014.
The 756 cars that sat unsold at the beginning of March represented a 412 day supply — enough Vipers for 14 months — and the pace of sales during the months of January and February averaged fewer than two cars per day.
The slow sales pace has been blamed on an long winter by some, but it’s worth noting that the new Chevrolet Corvette recorded 2,261 sales in January 2014 and 2,438 sales the following month. The Dodge Viper, of course, is a much more niche vehicle despite the frequent comparisons between the two, so the pace of production and the availability of inventory could not have allowed the Viper to outpace the Corvette in sales for those two months, to be fair.
The restart of production will be a welcome sign for the Viper, whose production had already been sliced by a third in October 2013 for the same reasons as during this latest hiatus. Before October 2013, Chrysler had been building an average of nine Vipers per day, but production was expected to come down to an average of six examples per day after those cuts.