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PT Cruiser to be axed

End of the road: Chrysler’s PT Cruiser was a big hit with baby-boomers.

Chrysler to stop production of its PT Cruiser later this year

15 Jan 2009

CHRYSLER president Tom LaSorda yesterday revealed that the troubled carmaker would stop producing its retro-styled PT Cruiser by the middle of this year.

Mr LaSorda revealed told reporters that the PT Cruiser “ends this (northern) summer”.

It will be the seventh model to be cancelled since Cerberus Capital Management bought Chrysler in August 2007.

The other models to have been dropped are Dodge’s Magnum wagon and Durango SUV, and the Chrysler-branded Crossfire sports car, PT Cruiser convertible, Aspen SUV and Pacifica SUV.

Chrysler is also reportedly looking to sell the Dodge Viper brand.

Axing the iconic PT Cruiser will leave the Chrysler brand with only two international models – the Sebring and 300C sedans – on top of the US-market Town & Country minivan.

Within two years, though, they are expected to be joined by the rear-wheel-drive 200C mid-size sedan, which was a surprise debutante at this week’s Detroit auto show.

Mr LaSorda said Chrysler would be interested in talking to any company interested in buying the tooling to produce the PT Cruiser under another brand name, but that he had not been approached yet.

The PT Cruiser was once a stand-out performer for the brand in the US, but sales plunged by 49 per cent last year compared with Chrysler’s overall 30 per cent slide and the US market drop of 18 per cent.

The Mexican-built car in hardtop and convertible versions accounts for about 20 per cent of Chrysler’s sales in Australia, but dropped about 26 per cent last year.

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