PT Cruiser Finishes Journey From Retro to Obsolete

On Friday, Chrysler will stop making the PT Cruiser , after 10 years and 1.3 million cars sold. In a decade when obese SUVs were luring drivers away from indistinguishable efficiency-optimized jellybean-shaped sedans, the PT Cruiser’s flared fenders and old-fashioned giant grille allowed automobile buyers to get an affordable and practical vehicle that still seemed a little showy and weird.

Crowded by overstyled Japanese box-sedans on one side and explicitly retro reissues of American cars on the other, the PT Cruiser has had its sales sink to 5,500 so far this year. With any luck, around 2016, an Chinese automaker will buy the brand from Chrysler and start making new ones that run on electricity or biofuel, to sell to PT Cruiser nostalgists.