Chrysler Archives: A Brief History of the PT Cruiser

June 29th, 2020 by

2020 Dodge Charger Interior and Cargo Space Specifications

Boasting classic American muscle car styling and more than enough horses to back it up, the Dodge Charger is a rebel among family sedans. But even with its boisterous character, the Charger provides a spacious interior that’s practical enough for everyday applications. See what we mean in our review of the 2020 Dodge Charger interior and cargo space specifications.

Why Was the Chrysler PT Cruiser Discontinued?

Largely misunderstood but adored by a devoted cult following, the PT Cruiser became sort of the black licorice of the automotive world. Released in 2000, the PT rode in on the same wave of nostalgia that drew many to models like the Beetle and the Mini Cooper. In this article, we will dig deeper into the history of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, the story behind its success and the reason it was ultimately discontinued.

Why Was the PT Cruiser So Popular?

The PT Cruiser was designed to look like a sort of Al Capone getaway car, brandishing flared fenders, a sloping hood and tall doors. The interior echoed the old-timey retro theme with a cue ball-style shifter, a four-spoke steering wheel, color-matched dash panels and deep-set gauge pods. The more upscale Limited trim level featured leather interior seating and a sunroof.

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the head-turner took the industry by storm. The PT Cruiser took home Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award and placed in Car and Driver’s 10 Best Cars in 2001. That year alone Chrysler sold nearly 145,000 units. About 1.35 million PT Cruisers were sold by Chrysler during the model’s passionate nine-year run.

Why Did Chrysler End Production of the PT Cruiser?

We love a good ending, but you know how the story goes. Production of the PT Cruiser ended with the last model rolling off the assembly line in 2009. The very last new PT Cruiser was sold in 2010. So, why did Chrysler choose to axe one of its most iconic and controversial nameplates? The shooting star simply lost momentum over time. As trends go, car shoppers became less drawn the retro aesthetic that gave the PT its distinct swagger. Despite its ultimate undoing, many still look to the PT Cruiser as a legacy in the automotive industry.

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