Doing its best impression of Rasputin, the Chrysler PT Cruiser will avoid death and live on until late 2010. Chrysler announced earlier this year that the PT Cruiser would end production at its Toluca, Mexico plant this summer, but the automaker's recent tie-up with Fiat will see the retro hatchback live on until December 2010.

Fiat has decided to extend the PT Cruiser's stay of execution in order to keep the Toluca plant humming at full speed. The Toluca plant will cease production of the PT Cruiser in December 2010 and then be shut down for six months for retooling. The Mexico plant will then re-open in the summer of 2011 to produce the Fiat 500 and a Jeep-badged version of the Fiat Panda.

The PT Cruiser was first introduced in 1999, but has seen little in the way of improvements over the last decade. Sales of the PT Cruiser were initially strong, selling more than 200,000 units in 2001 alone, but have dropped off dramatically over the past few years.

Chrysler has released 14 different factory custom PT Cruisers over the years, but we doubt we'll see a "?Final Series' from the new Fiat-led Chrysler.