CHRYSLER HAS CONFIRMED that the venerable PT Cruiser will be soldiering on into the 2010s, with production to continue at the company's Toluca Mexico plant until at least the middle of next year.
With production of the retro-themed hatchback originally slated to cease in the middle of this year, that's a substantial extension of the ageing PT's lifespan. Chrysler's new CEO Sergio Marchionne is apparently keen to keep it in Chrysler's model line-up, particularly as its popularity since debut has more than paid for its development costs.
Over 50,000 PT Cruisers were sold last year, but concerns surrounding the future of Chrysler predictably killed sales for 2009 - currently, only 8591 PTs have been shifted out of dealerships this year. However, with a grand tally of 1.3 million cars sold since its debut in 2000, the PT Cruiser has been surprisingly successful.
But while the PT Cruiser appears to be safe, Marchionne is presently scouring the rest of Chrysler's catalogue looking for underperforming models to axe.
The Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot are rumoured to be not long for this world, however a formal announcement is expected to be made later this month.
But while some product lines will be headed for the chopping block, new ones should arrive to take their place. A Sebring replacement based on the 200C Concept is currently rumoured to be waiting in the wings, and several Fiat models may be re-engineered for the American market.
Interesting times lie ahead for Chrysler, but with a new focus on moving forward with newer products and a more streamlined line-up, the decision to keep the PT Cruiser in showrooms does seem a little out of sync.