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Chrysler could sell Viper brand

Chrysler is reviewing its options for its iconic low volume Dodge Viper supercar, sold here in very small numbers, which could include a sale of the model.

The carmaker has been approached by third parties "interested in exploring future possibilities with Viper," said chairman and chief executive Bob Nardelli.

Chrysler said the review is part of a move toward focusing on Dodge's core nameplates, and affects the 600bhp Viper, also rebadged here as the SRT-10 in 2006, alone.

The review comes as Chrysler and other automakers grapple with a broader industry downturn brought on by a weak economy, high fuel prices and slumping demand for large cars.

Chrysler has expressed interest in asset sales in the past as it copes with the downturn.

Earlier this month, vice chairman Tom LaSorda said the company has identified more than $1 billion in "non-earning" assets that it intends to sell to generate cash.

Chrysler's announcement comes several months after General Motors revealed it was putting its niche Hummer brand up for sale.

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