On the back of falling sales and a model run that has lasted a decade, Chrysler finally ended production of its retro-styled PT Cruiser on Friday at its Toluca plant in Mexico.
Released for the 2000 model year with retro looks and an affordable price, the PT Cruiser immediately became an icon for many, allowing dealers to inflate their prices to suit the demand. Fast forward to today and the car remains almost untouched, barring subtle styling changes made in 2006. Sales peaked in 2001, with numbers reaching 144,717 units. Last year Chrysler sold just 17,941 units, which together with this year’s tally of 4,917 units brings the PT Cruiser’s total production run to 1.35 million worldwide.
The very last Chrysler PT Cruiser to roll off the production line was a Stone White version destined for a home in the U.S. Production lines in the Toluca plant will now gear up to start churning out the just-as-funky 2011 Fiat 500.
It’s interesting to note that some of the key people responsible for the PT Cruiser include Bob Lutz, who needs no introduction, as well as Bryan Nesbitt, who now heads the design team for Cadillac. The car is also considered one of the most profitable small cars in history and it was originally pegged to wear a Plymouth badge--a switch to Chrysler was necessary since the Plymouth brand was being phased out at the time.