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Dodge announces 2008 Challenger production to total 6,400 units

by Drew Johnson

The Dodge Challenger has been available for pre-order since December 3, but it appears that only those who ordered early will be able to get their hands on a 2008 model. Dodge has officially announced that the initial production run of 2008 Challenger SRT8s will be limited to 6,400 examples.

Earlier reports had the first production run pegged at 5,000 units. Dodge took 4,300 Challenger pre-orders on the first day they were available.

Dodge officials indicated that the initial production run of the Challenger could be as high as 10,000 units. It remains unclear if the large volume of orders influenced Dodge's decision. Challenger production will increase to about 30,000 annual once all models come on line in 2009.

"This is unprecedented," said Mark Mallie, Challenger Brand Manager - Dodge Marketing. "Customers were actually coming to us and pushing us, so we thought this was a good time to take pre-sale orders."

The Challenger is available in black, silver or HEMI orange, but HEMI orange has been the most popular by far. "More than half of the orders are HEMI Orange," Mallie said. "It's been almost 35 years since the last Challenger, and there's a lot of interest. There's a lot of people anxious for it. It's certainly an iconic muscle car."

Since pricing was announced on Nov. 29, Dodge's website has experienced a 23% boost in traffic, Mallie said.

The Dodge Challenger SRT8 lists for $37,995, but dealer markups are expect to push the final price well above MSRP. The first Challenger sold over the weekend at auction for $400,000.