Chrysler to end production of retro PT Cruiser

US automaker Chrysler is ending production after a decade of its PT Cruiser, an odd-looking car that drew comparisons to a 1930s gangster ride or a London taxicab.

The company said the last of the retro-styled sedans will roll off the assembly line in Toluca, Mexico on Friday.

The wide-grille car was launched in 2000 amid a back-to-the-future movement that saw a revamped Volkswagen Beetle and retro-look cars like the Mini Cooper and Chevrolet HHR.

Chrysler, which emerged from bankruptcy last year with US government support and under the direction of Italian carmaker Fiat, has sold 1.3 million PT Cruisers, including 200,000 outside the United States.

But sales have been slumping for the PT, which stands for personal transportation: in 2007 there were 125,000 sold, but so far this year, the figure was just 6,920.

The automaker is phasing out production with no fanfare, and without even an official announcement.

But the news saddened the legion of fans of the unusual vehicle.

"It really was a great car when it came out, and if they had put money in instead of taking it out, they'd still be selling 100,000 a year," said David Katz, who runs the fan website