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Viper, Solstace and Sky

Tuesday, 12 May, 2009

Here’s another stupid idea.

Conner Avenue Assembly, home of the Dodge Viper, allegedly is for sale. Production of the Viper is scheduled to end with the 2010 model year and the relatively new factory (1966) is scheduled to close. I’d bet If you bought the 27 acre facility, “New Chrysler” would throw in the tooling and trade dress for the American supercar.

The new GM, which no longer includes Pontiac or Saturn and may not include Opel, has no use for Wilmington Assembly (formerly Boxwood Road), home of the Kappa platform. The Kappa is sold as Pontiac Solstace, Opel GT, Saturn Sky and Daewoo GX2. Unless the Daewoo is far more popular than I imagine, GM has a platform without a sales apparatus.

If I were making the decisions, I’d adapt some of those aftermarket handling mods at the factory. Make the car a second halo Chevrolet or establish Corvette as a marque in its own right. This would also allow Cadillac dealers to carry the brand and pull it from volume-oriented (euphemism intended) Chevy vendors. You would have the “real Corvette” with the model name C7, which it is known anyway, and the Corvette Boxter. Call it something that calls on the heritage, of course, like “Corvette Mako” or something similarly sharky. I’m telling you a demand exists for a $35K Corvette. Demand would exist, at best, for one shift, five days per week of cars, but you would not have to close Wilmington entirely. Of course, none of this could possibly happen.

Instead Wilmington should be purchased (written off to) some whack job American zillionaire (who has yet to surface) who will also purchase Conner Avenue and the Viper. License an engine, Viper gets a v-10 Solstace a V-6, buy transmissions from a vendor, and start selling a few thousand Viper RT-10 and Viper Solstace, Rattler, whatever a year.

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