New Era is Just Ahead

Written by editor on . Posted in Ignition, Summer 2009

President Barack Obama’s public address to the nation on April 30, 2009, announcing Chrysler LLC going into Chapter 11 restructuring was shocking and disappointing to many. The world changed for Chrysler employees, dealers, autoworkers, suppliers and many families on that day.

As of this writing, the honorable U. S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur Gonzalez is hearing this case in the Southern District of New York. His experience handling other complex corporate cases will no doubt help in the hearing of Chrysler LLC’s case. At this point we know two things for certain: 1) Chrysler’s alliance and plans with Fiat SpA are subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval and 2) Dodge Viper remains secured under bankruptcy protection.

Take a step back and consider that an alliance with Fiat SpA represents Chrysler LLC’s best opportunity for the future. Could the brain trusts at Ferrari and Maserati have any influence on the Viper? Who ever thought that this is something we might contemplate? There’s also a very good chance that a third party may acquire the Dodge Viper. Either way, the future of Viper looks promising and interesting to say the least.

Fiat’s principal investment in Chrysler LLC is its intellectual property – namely the engineering and technology of fuel-efficient small cars. With the price of gasoline ratcheting up again, we all know that manufacturing fuel sippers is the right thing to do. It’s only a matter of time before we see more and more Americans buying smaller, more economical cars.

At this moment, Fiat SpA is working closely with Chrysler management to architect the way for “NewCo,” the soon to be reorganized and newly named company. President Obama has ordered Chrysler’s bankruptcy case to be completed as speedily as possible. It’s critical and necessary in moving the company forward.

Meanwhile, the Viper Nation is geared and ready for the summer driving season. Have you had a chance to go on a club road trip? Nothing beats the fun and camaraderie of a Viper club outing. There are many planned so make it a point to participate. Check out the upcoming events listed on www.ViperClub.org under Events or visit www.ViperMagazine.com and click on Calendar.

You might also take time this summer to plan and outfit your garage. Turn to pages 30–35 to see what some of your fellow Viper-holics have done with their garages. Those could be inspiration for what you might do to enhance yours. And when you’re ready to share your own shrine, submit your photos to [email protected] to be considered for one of our future garage features.

Keep the faith for good things to come and enjoy your summer!

Clay Thompson

President, J.R. Thompson Company

Publisher of VIPER Magazine