Chrysler’s new corporate overlords, Fiat, know a thing or two about exclusivity. As owners of the prestigious Ferrari brand, Fiat is well aware that people are willing to pay a premium for an uncommon car and an exceptional experience. We may be seeing the first hints of this business tactic if what the head of the Pentastar’s new SRT brand ends up being true.
SRT brand chief Ralph Gilles told Automotive News that he expects as few as 15% of Chrysler dealers to meet the criteria required to have a new Viper in their showrooms.
What does that criteria entail? While Gilles dodges specifics, he does say that any Chrysler dealer willing to put the money forward can get a Viper into their showrooms. The question though is whether or not it will be worth it for the dealer, as to receive a Viper dealers will have to train staff, upgrade their facilities, and the dealer will have to have a history of selling SRT products. In other words, it won’t be cheap.
Gilles wants to offer a new kind of customer experience for a new kind of customer. Chrysler seems to be catering to the ultra-rich with this tactic, the kinds of people who expect a certain level of service from a car dealer. Gilles says that as few as 15% of Chrysler dealerships might end up carrying the Viper, which seems kind of silly to us.
Then again, pricing for the 2013 SRT Viper hasn’t been announced yet. Once it is, well, this whole plan might make a bit more sense.