Viper Might Be Luxury Chrysler Can Do Without

Automaker needs to raise $1B, and hot rod looks odd model out
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2008 3:15 PM CDT
"Viper became an icon of its own," one analyst said. "Then it has to justify itself on a product and marketing basis."    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Despite a $1.1 billion operating profit in the first half of the year, Chrysler is hemorrhaging money. In a bid to raise another billion, the company is looking to sell off its iconic Dodge Viper line, BusinessWeek reports. The Viper has sold a mere 594 cars since January, and has become a specialty product removed from the rest of Chrysler's line, experts say.

Selling the Viper would not hurt Chrysler's business much, but nor will it be an effective cost-cutting measure, according to analysts. Rather, the sale is only good for a quick cash grab, and the company could yet opt to hold on in some fashion, most likely by selling the technology to a sports-car specialist, who would continue to manufacture Vipers for Dodge.