Within the next week or so, the last Chrysler PT Cruiser will roll off the assembly line. The PT Cruiser's history is evidence of Chrysler being successful at creating unique and attractive new vehicles.
It also brings to light the company's failure to build on success. It was in 2000 that the PT Cruiser went on sale. This was at the height of the SUV craze but nevertheless, the compact sedan's quirky styling and practical interior made it such a hit.
As a result, Chrysler was established as a design leader as it sold far beyond its expectations and it became one of the rare American small cars that's an undeniable hit.
Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics, a Birmingham consultancy, said that for some time, it was the best-selling Chrysler-brand vehicle. When production stops on July 9, Chrysler will have sold more than 1.3 million PT Cruisers.
The PT can be slotted as among one of the first modern retro vehicles, coming after the VW Beetle and Plymouth Prowler, but before the Mini Cooper, Chevrolet HHR, Ford Thunderbird and Fiat 500.
Aside from the original sedan, the lineup now includes a turbocharged performance model, a convertible, and over a dozen special editions.