Good news for diehard fans of Chryslers retro-styled and uber-flexible PT Cruiser: It is not going to that great junkyard in the sky as part of the death, resurrection, government buy-out, new ownership by Fiat. That was the reports from late last year, but it turns out that there’s enough love, and or sales to make the PT Cruiser a viable proposition for now.
The real question is, as always, why?
According to TheGarageBlog, the original plans to axe the PT Cruiser were bad because ” … it still has style, club support, and charisma, something lacking from other Chrysler products.” And all that IS true, but it also lacked a lot in build quality and interior material choice, is what I heard. Yeah, I’ve seen them myself, but a lot of car friends of mine noticed what I did: That it’s a distinctive and stylish car, but for price bracket it was in (starting around 20K) you got what you paid for, quality-wise. Let me put it this way, it was a pretty neat ride for that amount of money, but don’t expect it to be put together like a Rolls.
The original choice to blade the PT Cruiser came when the company was trying to explain to Uncle Sam why it should go down like Paris Hilton late last year. However, keeping the PT Cruiser around (for now) makes sense since they are still selling, and apart from the Chevy HHR, pretty much have their market niche all to themselves.
But that only goes for so long. Chrysler has partnered with Fiat and will offer new, exciting fuel-efficient cars to sell or build in North America. When those cars come on line, then maybe, probably, no one is saying for sure, we might bid a final adio to the PT Cruiser.
TheGarageBlog also had some interesting speculation of its own:
“Is there a Fiat platform that could be a basis for an all-new PT Cruiser? Remember, the PT was born from the Dodge Neon, so this is not a new concept. It just seems like bad business to walk away from a nameplate that had built up such positive vibes over the years. Chrysler, are you listening?”
Hmmmmmmmm … indeed. Now, to a certain extent, that DOES have a kind of logic behind it. The PT Cruiser offers both style and a great deal of flexibility. That type of car might play well in the future. Also, Fiat has a history of producing cars with that ideal as well. And from my own personal point of view, I like the idea of a flexible, reconfigurable car that has tons of practicality that is NOT some sort of huge SUV.
Photo from Flickr user MÃ¯K