Chrysler has resumed production of the Mexican built PT Cruiser for the first time since early August, as the company seeks to build up stocks to help boost sales.

Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne in July saved the PT Cruiser from extinction when he reversed a plan to stop production of the retro-styled hatchback and gave the former hot seller another year of life, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Weak consumer demand for the model and available inventory led the company to stop production on 7 August and production restarted last Monday at the assembly plant in Toluca. Chrysler had also shut down production of the PT Cruiser and all other models from 1 May until late June or July as part of its bankruptcy reorganisation, the WSJ noted.

Sales of the PT Cruiser, which was introduced in 2000, peaked in 2001 and have been falling sharply since 2006. In the first nine months of this year, Chrysler sold 16,760 of the model, compared with 42,345 in the same period a year ago, the report added. Production in the first nine months of the year was down 9,649 units, compared with 47,311 in the first nine months of last year.

The model was once widely exported and even assembled for a short time by Magna Steyr in Austria but has now been dropped from some markets, including the UK.