In January of this year we reported Chrysler planned on killing off the funky, but now familiar PT Cruiser this summer. Our position at The Garage was this was not a good idea-sure, sales were off from the highs when the PT first debuted, but it still has style, club support, and charisma, something lacking from other Chrysler products, like the unloved Sebring.
The decision to halt PT Cruiser production came when the company was laying out a Viability Plan to the US Congress, and trying to stay out of bankruptcy. As we know, Chrysler did declare bankruptcy, and has partnered with Fiat with plans to offer new, exciting fuel efficient cars to sell or build in North America. Until those cars come to fruition, it only makes sense to continue selling the PT Cruiser. Chrysler did not say how long the PT’s new lease on life would be.
I applaud Chrysler for keeping the PT Cruiser in production for now, but I also challenge them to keep it fresh. Is there a Fiat platform that could be a basis for an all-new PT Cruiser? Remember, the PT was born from the Dodge Neon, so this is not a new concept. It just seems like bad business to walk away from a nameplate that had built up such positive vibes over the years. Chrysler, are you listening?