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Chrysler drives into ’09 with new Cruiser, but hatchback’s future in question as sales decline

September 12, 2008

Chrysler PT Cruiser drives into the 2009 model year with a new Dream Cruiser edition and a swirl of speculation over its future.

The retro-styled Cruiser wowed buyers on its introduction in 2000, creating waiting lists and premium prices. The carmaker has keyed interest with more than a dozen unique versions, from the Flames and Woodie to the Route 66 and 2008 Sunset Boulevard edition we tested. Beyond that, however, the vehicle remains much the same.

The company sold 32,830 Cruisers in the first half of this year, down from 53,192 in the first six months of 2007 and 62,014 in the same period five years ago. The decline, along with Chrysler’s financial struggles, plans to shed several models and the Cruiser’s age, fuels speculation on the cute little buggy’s future.

Although the convertible model was dropped, Chrysler confirms production of the hatchback will continue through the 2009 model year. A spokesman hinted an announcement may be coming soon, adding that, with concern over fuel costs, the compact PT is more “relevant than ever.”

LINK:Chrysler drives into ?09 with new Cruiser - Pittsburgh Business Times:
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