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From CNN:

Chrysler in talks to sell Dodge Viper
The embattled automaker is in talks with two or three possible buyers for the hand-built supercar line, but the company president says it's in no rush.

March 3, 2009: 5:56 PM ET

DETROIT (Reuters) -- Chrysler LLC is in discussions with two to three companies for the possible sale of its high-performance Dodge Viper sports car line, but the credit crisis has slowed the process, Vice Chairman and President Jim Press said Tuesday.

Chrysler said in late August it was exploring the sale of the Viper business as part of its effort to generate cash and ride out the deepening U.S. auto industry downturn.

"Because of the credit situation for all businesses and the market, we are still in dialogue and we have had conversations with two or three companies," Press said. "They are still going on, but we are not in a big hurry to move Viper."

Press said Chrysler has been in discussions with firms that specialize in making niche vehicles like Viper.

"We are not in an imminent position of selling it," he said. "We will when the market is right, and the buyer shows up."

Chrysler sold about 1,172 of the low-volume, hand-built, V10-powered sports cars last year, a 169% increase from the previous year.

The privately held car company has struggled along with other automakers through a downturn in U.S. sales in recent years that has hit large trucks and SUVs the hardest.

Chrysler, which retained Lazard as its financial adviser on Viper, saw U.S. sales decline 44% in February.

Separately, Chrysler said it has seen a 30% decline in the warranty claims rate on its vehicles.

The improvement translates to $240 million in saving annually, Steven Landry, Chrysler's executive vice president of sales said.
 

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This has been talked about for a lot longer then you think, this was begun last fall, listened to a few Execs discussing it last November. Don't forget the Viper is done after the current run planned to end in 2010 with no model replacement. Challenger is nothing like the Viper, which was a "Halo" vehicle similiar to the ford GT 40/New GT whatever you want to call it. Their thougt was to push it into something along the lines of Saleen, Ligenfelter etc. At one point this January they approached Ken Ligenfelter (the new owner of Ligenfelter since he bought it from GM last year) about purchaseing the plant and name. He has declined currently since he is focusing on GM and developing old school/new school cars like his new 68 camaro/ZO6. I tend to have breakfast with him and other auto enthusiasts on saturdays at a local store which caters to car lovers you hear all kinds of inside info. Ceberus is also looking at splitting Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge and selling each to a different bidder if they can.
 
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