Dodge announced today (July 27) that they are going to double production of their hugely successful SRT Challenger and SRT Charger Hellcats for 2016. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they will not deliver remaining 2015 Hellcat vehicles on order that are not currently in production.
The muscle car enthusiast desire to own one of the 4,000 (originally planned) 707 horsepower muscle cars was beyond expectations according to Dodge. It created a market demand that was manipulated by many dealers – creating problems with scheduling and delivery of valid customer orders for the 2015 model year, according to sources.
While not directly addressing the reason for cancelling the estimated 900 open customer orders, Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO, Dodge and SRT brands, FCA US said: “We could not have asked for a more enthusiastic response to the Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats – it was absolutely unprecedented, but then again, these 707-horsepower muscle cars are unprecedented”.
Kuniskis alluded to the ordering process problems for 2015 models as he announced the increase in production for 2016 models saying: “To meet this demand, we are more than doubling our SRT Hellcat production for 2016 and simplifying the process to make it easier for our enthusiasts to get their hands on the hottest muscle cars in history.”
With respect to customers who will not get the 2015 model they order, he added: “In addition, customers with verified sold orders that weren’t built in the 2015 model year will receive special discounted pricing if they re-order in 2016.”
Dodge officials say customers with valid orders on file at FCA – that will be cancelled – will be called by the brand starting today, July 27. They will be informed that their order is cancelled and will be offered a voucher that will hold the 2015 factory pricing if they are interested in placing an order for a 2016 model.
The 2016 Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat will feature standard ultra-premium Laguna Leather interior appointments, Uconnect 8.4AN with navigation, HD radio and five years of SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Traffic. Pricing for the 2016 models is not yet available. The ordering system, with new dealer allocation and ordering controls, will open the second week of August. Production of the 2016 Dodge Charger and Challenger is scheduled to start at the Brampton, (Ont.), Assembly plant in September.
Dodge says that the new ordering process will occur in two allocation cycles – one in August 2015 and the other in February 2016. Dealers will be given a “potential” allocation for the 2016 model year in August based on past Dodge sales performance. They will receive half of the 2016 model year allocation (net of adjustments) beginning in August 2015. They will receive the second half of the 2016 model year allocation (net of adjustments) in February 2016 with the proviso that their rate of sale and “days on lot” performance is maintained. Dealers will only be able to order their given allocation for each period.
Customer’s choosing to reorder will get factory price protection but no mention of any price protection at the dealer level was made. Additionally, no mention of any ordering priority for these customers was made in the Dodge announcement.
These two issues could be a serious concern of otherwise loyal Dodge muscle car enthusiasts who will not get the 2015 Hellcat they had ordered. It appears they will take “pot luck” on their position in the ordering queue plus have to negotiate a new delivered price with their dealer which is likely to result in a higher delivered price than they had in place for the 2015 model.
But then again, to be able to own the most “over-the-top” muscle car (Challenger Hellcat) or production sedan (Charger Hellcat), just may make the delay in owning one a non-issue for most.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the fastest, most powerful muscle car ever, thanks to the supercharged HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine, which delivers an unprecedented 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. The 6.2-liter V-8 is also the first factory-built supercharged HEMI. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat also is the fastest muscle car ever with a National Hot Rod Association-certified ¼-mile elapsed time of 11.2 seconds with stock Pirelli P Zero tires. With drag radials, the ¼-mile run drops to just 10.8 seconds.
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat also features the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine that produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque making it the quickest, fastest and most powerful production sedan in the world. It has a top speed of 204 miles per hour, and a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)-certified, quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.0 seconds on stock Pirelli P Zero tires.
Source: FCA US