Demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat models has far exceeded expectations – in most ways, an enviable problem to have, but one not without its negative consequences with regard to customer satisfaction.
In fact, Automotive News reports that Dodge has had to cancel some 900 or so orders for the 2015 SRT Hellcat models, assessing that production will continue to fall short through the end of this first model year.
Customers waiting patiently in-line for a SRT Hellcat that hasn’t arrived will receive some recompense, in the form of a voucher which guarantees them the 2015 model year price for the more expensive 2016 model year car – at least, from factory to dealer. The exact price will still be negotiated at the dealership.
Through the first half of 2015, Dodge built roughly 4,000 units of the SRT Hellcat models. Dodge/SRT President and CEO Tim Kuniskis says that production through the first half of 2016 will be more than double. Still, that’s perhaps not enough to outright solve the issue of scarcity; some Fiat Chrysler dealerships accepted far more customer orders than they could possibly fill.
For example, one dealership in a small town in Ohio accepted more than 200 SRT Hellcat orders, despite a local population of only 6,000 people, according to Automotive News. In order to prevent such optimistic ordering for 2016, Dodge will be controlling each dealership’s allocation, proportionate to each dealer’s brand-wide sales figures. And if any dealer keeps an SRT Hellcat on the lot for too long, that can hurt the dealership’s future allocation.
Mr. Kuniskis told Automotive News: “For the 2016 model year, we’re starting fresh.” He conceded that cancelling SRT Hellcat orders “is probably not what [customers] want to hear, but we’re going to do it so that we have a fresh, clean slate going forward with everything that we learned in 2015.”