The car also was popular in Europe. Buyers and enthusiasts there called it the "gangster car." It was the type of sedan they had seen in The Untouchables or some other flick set in the '30s.
But PT Cruiser sales plummeted in recent years; so far this year, about 5,000 have been sold. The reason for the sales slide and the PT Cruiser's demise is simple: Chrysler did not invest in the car.
Many PT Cruiser owners waited patiently for a second generation, a car with new sheet metal, giving them a reason to buy another one.A styling theme from the '40s was talked about for a second generation, but it never materialized. Today's car not only looks and feels like the car introduced in 2000, it IS the car that was introduced in 2000.
Would a second-generation PT Cruiser have been as successful as the original? No. But I think 325,000 second-generation PT Cruisers could have been sold over five years.
And that would have met the goal back in 2000 of 65,000 U.S. sales a year.