During this summer, SRT President Ralph Gilles made it clear that the new Viper was going to be a very, very special car. So special, in fact, that just a handful of Chrysler dealerships across the country would meet the stringent requirements for being a SRT dealership. At the time, Gilles figured as few as 15% of Chrysler’s 2,300 or so dealerships would become SRT dealers.
Turns out even that was optimistic, as a new report in USA Today says that between 100 and 150 Chrysler dealers will be licensed SRT stores. That works out to roughly 5% of Chrysler’s national dealership chain.
For Gilles, the number one requirement is “passion,” and the ability to prove that passion in the real world. We can appreciate that, especially since Chrysler will produce just 2,000 Vipers annually. That’s a low number for such a high-profile vehicle. Then again, with a starting price right around $100,000, the Viper isn’t exactly a volume vehicle.
Those dealerships that display enough passion then have to pony up a one-time license fee of $20,000, and another $5,000 in special SRT equipment, tools, and training. SRT dealerships will certainly be few and far between, and some states might find themselves lacking a SRT dealership entirely. That’s exclusivity right there.
This all falls in line with Chrysler’s plan to “elevate” the SRT brand, and you know what? It’s working. The 2013 SRT Viper is easily the most anticipated car of this year, and by doling it out in such limited numbers, Chrysler is ensuring there will be plenty of demand for this $100,000 supercar.