Chrysler Totals The PT Cruiser, Pacifica, Crossfire, And Dodge Magnum

Chrysler’s new CEO Robert “Big Bob” Nardelli, formerly of Home Depot, has started cutting costs at Chrysler. The first to go will be the popular PT Cruiser, says the WSJ.

Chrysler, which is facing sluggish U.S. sales because of housing-market weakness and high fuel prices, this month announced an expansion of a restructuring plan unveiled in February, saying it would cut its North American hourly work force almost in half by 2010. The company has also made several high-profile executive appointments since Cerberus took over.

Meantime, Chrysler executives have also now decided to kill the entire PT Cruiser line after the 2009 model year, according to a dealer who was told of the decision this past week. The move further expands the auto maker’s push to eliminate slower-selling models. Chrysler, in announcing the expanded restructuring this month, said that it was dropping the PT Cruiser convertible, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Crossfire and Dodge Magnum.

Also in the works, a new plan that would eliminate all passenger vehicles from the Dodge and Jeep brands. With all these models being dropped, there could be some deals to be had.

Chrysler Considers Slashing Number of Car Dealers [WSJ]
(Photo:susiewrites)

Comments

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  1. zibby says:

    Not a moment too soon. That thing was as ugly as a hatfull of warts.

  2. ekthesy says:

    @zibby:

    The Dodge Magnum wasn’t winning any beauty contests either.

    And the only “deal” you get on a Chrysler is from the guy who tells you never to purchase one. There’s a reason you don’t see any old Chryslers on the road.

  3. specialed5000 says:

    Unless I’m reading this wrong, it is just the PT Cruiser convertible being discontinued, not the hardtops.

  4. Finder says:

    @specialed5000: Unfortunate, if that’s the case. PT Cruisers are just Neons with a different body. Garbage and ugly taboot.

  5. savvy999 says:

    I once got a Dodge Magnum Hemi as a rental a couple years ago in Albuquerque, NM. Didn’t ask for it, but at midnight it was the only thing left in the lot so I took it.

    It was fugly, but that car could move. Easily broke 100 mph on that nice stretch of road between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and had room to open up for more.

    Oh well; see ya, hardly knew ye.

  6. SwatLax says:

    @specialed5000: “Meantime, Chrysler executives have also now decided to kill the entire PT Cruiser line after the 2009 model year…”

  7. Hanke says:

    With the exception of the PT Cruiser, all of those shared platforms with Mercedes vehicles. Could this be the reason for the drop?

  8. mupethifi says:

    I work next door to a dodge dealership, and the owner drives up in many a car, none of which are dodge, chrysler, jeep and so on.

  9. bohemian says:

    I will never ever buy another Dodge ever again. We bought a Durango because my hubby really wanted it. Since he suffered with about five years of mini van driving I gave in.

    We later found out how many known issues Dodge had with these. Ball joints, transmission, tie rod ends, and a bunch more, all had known flaws that Dodge refused to recall.

  10. specialed5000 says:

    @SwatLax:

    Sorry, I had incorrect information from yet another misleading, poorly worded Consumerist post.

    I just followed the link to read the whole article, and found that the article linked to was not the same one that was quoted (which was from over a month ago) and which had somewhat contradictory information. I would guess that the newer one is more accurate.

    Also, the main point of the linked article was a possible plan to reduce the number of dealers, not discontinuing models.

    Silly me, I expected the post to have relevant, correct information and the link to the original article to simply be available to provide additional detail, not to be there to correct information from the outdated article which was quoted and presented as being current.

  11. celloperson says:

    I read elsewhere that it’s only the PT Cruiser CONVERTIBLE that is being scrapped. The normal PT Cruiser is too big of a seller to get rid of it :)

  12. karlrove says:

    PT Cruisers are still ugly on a stick

  13. b612markt says:

    I’m not a fan of the Mopar. What they did to Jeep is inexcusable (anyone seen the compass?) I’m shocked that the Aspen isn’t on the list…

  14. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @specialed5000:

    That may be the main point, but the more interesting info is the cars being discontinued. This is stated in the the last paragraph of the linked story …

    “Meantime, Chrysler executives have also now decided to kill the entire PT Cruiser line after the 2009 model year, according to a dealer who was told of the decision this past week. The move further expands the auto maker’s push to eliminate slower-selling models. Chrysler, in announcing the expanded restructuring this month, said that it was dropping the PT Cruiser convertible, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Crossfire and Dodge Magnum.”

  15. brendanm14 says:

    @b612markt:
    Aspen is not on the list because the Aspen hybrid just launched and they need the regular version on hand to show how much better the hybrid is, etc….and in case someone decides they don’t need the hybrid and just purchase a regular one.

  16. Falconfire says:

    I understood the Crossfire Pacifica and Cruser… but the Magnum? While ugly as sin it was meant to be that ugly, it was a mans wagon with a big fucking gas hog of a engine. It was also the base of what is now the Challenger and Charger.

    I guess it was doing that badly? I know if it had been just slightly cheaper I would have bought one myself since I dont want a truck but could use the space of one.

  17. catnapped says:

    So does that mean Dodge and Jeep will just be offering trucks at some point?

  18. specialed5000 says:

    @radleyas: @radleyas:

    We disagree on what is the more interesting piece of information in the WSJ story, and that is fine, I don’t mind at all when people disagree with me.

    I’m not trying to argue that the newer, linked article says that all PT Cruisers are being discontinued. By quoting that you are wasting time and effort trying to argue a settled point that I am not disputing.

    My point is that when I read the original post, the conflicting information immediately jumped out at me. The quote in the post said convertibles, but the Consumerist commentary said all PT Cruisers.

    Once again, the purpose of the link should be for reference and for those who want additional information. I shouldn’t have to follow it to find out which piece of conflicting information in the post is correct.

  19. NoWin says:

    @Hanke: “With the exception of the PT Cruiser, all of those shared platforms with Mercedes vehicles. “

    I had a guy in the office that bought a small Mercedes-Benz a few years ago, and I always told him he really had bought a Mercedes Neon. It would always piss him off.

  20. MameDennis says:

    It can’t be said enough: The PT Cruiser is a fugly, fugly car.

  21. xboxishuge says:

    “eliminate all passenger vehicles from the Dodge and Jeep brands”

    Uhhh…What’s that leave, then? Isn’t everything a “passenger vehicle”, or are they going to move Dodge and Jeep over to making Big Rigs and Dump trucks?

    Unless “passenger vehicle” is industry slang for cars – ie not trucks or SUVs. I’m a little confused here.

  22. badgeman46 says:

    Really stupid move! All of these cars have a niche market. Especially the PT cruiser and the Crossfire. The crossfire is a very well engineered car. Big bob probably thinks that neons and caravans are the only things that they sell.

  23. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Yeah, I don’t understand Dodge and Jeep not having passenger vehicles either.

    Even if “passanger vehicle” is slang for cars, that would mean that Jeep already doesn’t have any. All Jeeps fall into that SUV category.

    No. This makes no sense. No sense at all.

  24. workingonyourinvoice says:

    So does this mean they’re going to go out and round up all the mentioned cars and feed them to the crusher? That would make me so happy…

  25. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @ekthesy:

    My Neon is the exception. 235k miles & still running strong.

  26. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @badgeman46: They don’t sell Neons anymore. They’ve been replaced with the Caliber.

  27. TWinter says:

    @xboxishuge: Trucks and SUVs are in a different government classification, so that’s probably what they mean.

    This is a really stupid strategy actually. With gas prices where they are and probably headed higher, putting all your bets on trucks and SUVs does not seem smart.

  28. spryte says:

    The PT Cruiser may not be the prettiest thing on the block, but it’s darn comfy inside. Riding in one to lunch was actually the only tolerable part of my last visit to my grandpa’s! Har har…

  29. catnapped says:

    @TWinter: Unless you’re deliberately trying to run the company into the ground…

  30. Nytmare says:

    I wonder how they could even update cars like the PT Cruiser and New Beetle. Is it possible to come out with new body styles for cars of such targeted designs or are these types of cars destined to be one generation only?

  31. Celeste says:

    @Falconfire: I thought the Magnum was pretty. Actually, I thought it was the sexiest damn station-wagon that I’d ever seen in my life, and with a beast of an engine. I bought one for my mommy-mobile, and it fits the job perfectly. I don’t commute, so am not so concerned about mileage. I am concerned about cargo space, and passenger comfort, and I like power. The Magnum is ideal for those.

  32. Chairman-Meow says:

    It’s just “Big Bob’s” way of bringing his exciting ideas from Home Depot to Chrysler!

    After all…..look how well he did there !

  33. Kishi says:

    PT Cruisers are ugly cars. But I got one when I rented last year (not by choice, it was they had available) and it wasn’t a bad car to drive.

  34. weg1978 says:

    i like my pacifica…that thing is a tank…steel and airbags

  35. hoosier45678 says:

    @Celeste: Agreed. If I were a soccer dad I’d have a Magnum in a heartbeat over the rollover tanks you see everywhere.

  36. Rupan says:

    I will just go and whimper in the corner. I love my PT Cruiser. It’s a small retro wagon, it holds a lot of stuff, and it is fun to drive. My biggest complaint is the MPG. Its on the low side for a smaller car.

  37. elf6c says:

    I have 20 months before the Chapter 11 announcement. Then another 15 months before the Chapter 7 conversion. I called it first.

    Robert “Big Bob” Nardelli, should rightly be called “Incompetent Idiot who nearly killed Home Depot single handedly” If they were still public I would advise shortly them all the way to the bottom.

  38. Snarkysnake says:

    I for one ,am NOT sorry to see these sack assed jokemobiles in the corporate graveyard.The PT was always a styling dead end; Once the “early adopter” assholes bid the price up above what the damn thing was worth and moved on to another fad toy,people saw the thing for what it is: a tarted up Dodge Neon with an antique drivetrain and Willys Americar knockoff bodywork.The stylling is virtually immune to updating or freshening. The Magnum is just a weird idea:Put a big ,honking engine in a station wagon.For what ? So these soccer moms can linger over another latte and then get junior to soccer practice at 110mph? This is a three bong hit idea that made it to production and I am glad it’s not going to assault my eyes much longer.The Crossfire (AKA “Mid Life Crisismobile”)appeals to the kind of people that wish it came with opera windows and a half vinyl roof. I have saved the worst for last : What those German Deutschbags have done to the Jeep brand and image makes me wish we had dropped an a-bomb on Stuttgart. Last year. Sweet Jesus,have you seen that new ad with the squirrel singing along with the birds and the wolf as the guy drives along in his Jeep ? If that is what they think that the brand means to Americans,then they have been huffing glue at Mopar. Why not just change the name to,say,Pansymobile? Memo to soccer moms and others that drive a Compass – You are not driving a real Jeep.You are driving a Dodge Caliber with a different trim.You got ripped off. Good riddance to all of these damn cars…

  39. full.tang.halo says:

    Chrysler Crossfire was just an old sl-55 with a hideous body slapped on it thats rear looked like a dog parking its breakfast.

  40. Instigator says:

    The “PT Looser” is one of those cars that immediately betrays the age of its owner. April Margera owned one. Enough said.

  41. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I loved the PT Cruiser. There is no back seat better for getting laid in.

  42. Justinh6 says:

    There are rows and rows of PT cruisers at the Dollar Rental Car lot in Vegas.

    I got assigned to an 07 convertible last week, and the car was absolutely terrible on fuel, had a large blindspot, but wasn’t too bad to drive.

    The car got 19 miles per gallon out of a 4 cylinder this is just poor.

  43. Crim Law Geek says:

    I got a magnum as a rental car a few months back. The damn thing felt like I was driving a &*@#&* stretch-limo. The back window was so far away and small that it was basically useless. This is scary as hell when driving through a crowded place like the LA Area. I have plenty of NYC driving experience, but that’s in a car with a god-damned rear window (Toyota Camry). I learned to drive in my parent’s station wagon (Taurus), but the Magnum is just ridiculous!

  44. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    I love my 2003 PT Cruiser. Absolutely no problems.

  45. rtwigg says:

    I drove my 2001 PT for seven years and 140,000 miles. I bought her for her looks, and kept her for her reliability. Sadly, both crooked dealer repair departments who worked on her just got too greedy and too anxious to sell me a new car. My wife’s 2005 convertible is also a great car. She loves it. My new Honda… we take turns driving it!

  46. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: The wife has a 03 PT as well. Is your really tough to turn? The turning radius on it sucks! Plus since it has a turbo and she is a lead foot the milage is pretty bad. Yeah it is not bad to drive but it feels like my sisters 05 neon.

  47. Landru says:

    Watch; Chrysler will start doing away with more and more models and will start introducing ones made in China. DamlierChrysler had been talking about doing this even before the Cerebus takeover. Cerebus will sell off half of it to China and will end up as the network of dealers in the US that will be selling vehicles made in China.

  48. WV.Hillbilly says:

    The PT Cruiser shares no parts with the Neon.
    The Neon was simply the developmental chassis for the PT Cruiser.
    Yeah, the blindspot is big, but not if you know how to use your mirrors.

  49. swalve says:

    @thirdgen: The magnum does have some bad sight lines. But it is the absolute best roadtrip vehicle ever. Rented and drove one from WashDC to NYC one weekend. Once I learned how to park it, I was completely thrilled.

  50. chrispiss says:

    Seems like the magnum just came out, and they’re already canning it?

  51. hypebreaker says:

    @catnapped: Seeing as how shamelessly running a company into the ground these days guarantees a bazillion dollar severance package, a book deal, and a high-level appointment in the White House, I’d say you’re onto something…

  52. TPK says:

    It amazes me that Nardelli keeps managing to find work. He sure must talk a big game…

  53. TechnoDestructo says:

    @TWinter:

    Isuzu seems to be surviving by doing that.

    @chrispiss:

    “Crossovers” have probably killed it.

    People just have to INTIMIDATE WITH STYLE. Also, once people got over the OMGBADASSOLDSCHOOLWAGON!-ness of it, its shortcomings (visibility, small rear hatch, fuel economy, poor power/weight ratio on V6 models) became apparent.

    Anyhow, if this results in Chrysler not putting anymore of their latest abortions on the road (Avenger, Sebring, Pseudojeeps, Caliber), good.

  54. vrtclsmile says:

    “Big Knob” killed customer service at HD during his reign – he will kill Chrysler now; just watch….

  55. Celeste says:

    @swalve: yes! That was my primary purpose in buying the Magnum. Road-trip vehicle. We drove ours with a 18 month old child in the back seat and two weeks worth of gear in the back, from DC to Oklahoma to Texas and back to DC, with each leg straight through. The car is so comfortable, was no problem sleeping in the passengar seat and taking turns driving. And with the MDS in use during highway miles, the mileage isn’t really that bad considering you’re taking a V8 on a road trip – we averaged over 20mpg. It was the most comfortable road trip we’d ever had.

    I’m sad to see them go, but as long as I can still get parts for mine (don’t get rid of the Charger please!) I’m keeping it.

  56. Yozzie says:

    @Hanke: Actually, the Pacifica is just a “crossover”-bodied version of the last-gen minivan. The Crossfire is based off the old-model Merc SLK, which is no longer in production, and besides, it’s made in Austria, so they’re getting murdered on the euro exchange rate. It’s been dead in the water sales-wise for some time now (they were flogging them on Overstock.com last year).

    Even though the Magnum has a lot of Mercedes engineering in it, it’s being killed off due to poor sales; the 300 and Dodge Charger have the same platform, and they’re being kept on.

    I hate that the Magnum is going away (and it just had a facelift) but sales for all four of these models are in the crapper – double-digit declines over last year’s figures. When you’re cleaning and filleting a company for resale to somebody else (hello Renault!) it makes sense to kill the weak and improve your balance sheet.

  57. I love how WSJ assumes Chrysler is in the dumps “because of housing-market weakness and high fuel prices”. It couldn’t possibly have to do with the fact that the public simply has a plethora of better choices at similar price points–nooo, that’s impossible.

    As an economics graduate, I don’t deny that housing and fuel issues/cost are factors, but somehow, despite these matters, cars continue to sell. It’s a matter of them not taking responsibility for poor design and manufacturing choices.

    The 300 and the Magnum have similar price points and fuel economy ratings, yet the 300 continues to sell well. Why? It probably has to do with the fact that nobody wants a 93-foot-long station wagon that most of their friends find hideous.

    In other words, thousands will be without work because somebody at Chrysler thought we needed another hard-to-park yacht.

    Or maybe they’re out of work because they can’t afford their mortgage and gas.

    Who the hell knows, what with all the paradoxes?

  58. LeopardSeal says:

    @Gilbert: Wow, I guess what they say is true about opinion and assholes is true.

    There’s a whole lot of speculation and opinion in the above comments being dressed up as “known facts”. I won’t address most of it, but I would like to clarify a few things about the death of the Magnum. Firstly, yes it was built on the same platform as the 300 and Charger, and no, it is/was not a dressed down Mercedes. Second, sales numbers for it were not as good as Chrysler had hoped, but it was still selling reasonably well in some markets. Lastly, and most importantly, no one has lost thier job with the Magnum stopping production. In fact, the biggest reason for no longer building it was that they needed the production capacity to produce the new Challenger (built on the same platform). Chysler is banking on the Challenger being a big seller (rightly so) and could not keep up production of the Magnum along with three other models at the same factory without increasing infrastucture and other costs.

    On a side note, though I will miss the Magnum, the Challenger will knock your socks off. Though I do feel that the US market has become to Asian car-ified to appreciate it.

  59. LeopardSeal says:

    @onrampofframp: Wow, I can’t even get a backhanded comment right. “… what they say about opinions and assholes is true.”