Since 1995, the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, has been responsible for the creation of one of America’s most iconic sports cars – the Dodge Viper. But in 2010, the 50-year-old plant was put on hiatus, and the fate of the snake was thrown into doubt. Two years later, however, the plant reopened, and the fifth-gen Viper was unleashed upon the world. Now, the Conner Ave facility has been upgraded and improved, sporting modern equipment and techniques, all the while retaining its coachbuilder philosophy.
“The motto of the Conner Avenue plant is ‘dedicated people building dreams’,” said Doug Gouin, Conner Avenue Assembly Plant Manager, FCA US LLC. “The plant is filled with some of the most amazing car builders in the auto industry, building a vehicle that most people can only aspire to. The workers here are craftspeople, committed to delivering the best quality vehicle possible to our customers. Some of them are Viper owners themselves, so the job becomes very personal. They know they are keepers of the Viper legacy.”
Of the approximate 30,000 Vipers built since 1992, 24,000 came from Conner Ave. The plant now boasts being “hospital-clean, bright and more organized to increase the efficiency of each operation.” The 400,000-square-foot facility houses some 64 autoworkers, each contributing to the “handcrafted build process” of producing the new Viper.
“There is a sense of pride about being part of the Viper team,” said Greg Rinehart, a Team Leader who has been with Viper since 1994. “Every vehicle that leaves this plant is like one of our children. Each owner becomes part of our family. We were grateful when they decided to bring Viper back and gave us the opportunity to be part of the future.”
Read on to get an in-depth look at the build process.
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How The Dodge Viper Is Being Hand-Built In Detroit originally appeared on topspeed.com on Sunday, 10 May 2015 15:00 EST.