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Dodge Stops Taking Orders For Hellcats As Demand Outstrips Supply

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Automaker FCA US LLC, owned by Italy-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU), has stopped taking customer orders for Hellcat versions of Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger following overwhelming demand for the 707 horse power vehicles. The company is reportedly expecting to reopen the order books in August.

Chrysler had last month warned customers that dealers were accepting orders and deposits for a significantly higher number of the vehicles than they would ever be able to deliver.

Chrysler stated last week that a few dealers appear to have accepted large numbers of SRT Hellcat orders without regard to available supply and without advising their customers that orders may not be filled, if at all, for many months or longer.

The move to halt order booking is an attempt to curb the over enthusiastic shady dealer practices. The dealers are also said to be asking for mark-ups of up to $25,000 on the vehicle's sticker price.

The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has a starting price of $63,995, while the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has a starting price of $59,995. The Hellcat models were released in late-2014.

Chrysler has reportedly delivered about 2,200 of these vehicles already. Its current orders stand at about 9,000 vehicles, which is about twice as many as the company originally expected to build in 2015.

In a blog post last week titled, "Avoiding Hellcat ordering disappointment," Fiat Chrysler's Senior Vice President of Communications, Gualberto Ranieri asked dealers to stop taking so many orders.

Dodge dealerships are now being limited to only one Hellcat order per month, but dealerships have already accepted many more order deposits that will lead to customer disappointments.

Ranieri added, "The tremendous public response has driven demand for these vehicles to unprecedented levels."

While popular, the vehicle is not without its issues. Fiat Chrysler recalled in early March all 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT coupes and Dodge Charger SRT sedans equipped with 6.2 liter V-8 engines, known as the Hellcats, citing possible fire risks due to leakage from hose seals.

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