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The Plymouth Cricket was a subcompact automobile sold by the Plymouth division of Chrysler Corporation in the American market from 1971 to 1973. The car was a captive import, a rebadged version of the British Hillman Avenger, built by Chrysler's UK subsidiary (formerly the Rootes Group). Curiously, only a four-door sedan and station wagon were available, at a time when two-door subcompacts were much more popular, and a two-door body was sold in the Avenger range.
The car was not successful in the US, primarily because of complaints of poor quality, an issue plaguing the British industry at the time. It was discontinued midway through the 1973 model year, paradoxically, just as the gas crisis of 1973 began to increase demand for small cars sharply, and Dodge began to see real success with its similarly-sized Dodge Colt, built by Mitsubishi Motors.
The Cricket name lived on in Canada though, as Chrysler Canada replaced the British-built Cricket with a rebadged Dodge Colt in mid 1973 model year. The Cricket's version of the Colt GT was called the Cricket Formula S. For the 1975 model year, the Plymouth Cricket was rebadged as the Plymouth Colt. Thus began Chrysler Canada's dual marketing system, selling the Colt as both a Dodge and a Plymouth. The later Plymouth Arrow was similarly sold as a Dodge Arrow.
The last British built Cricket's were actually imported into the USA in the later part of 1972 but were sold until mid-1973 as "1973" models. This was because US safety and emission laws became effective based on the calendar year the car was manufactured in or imported in, NOT the model year. Chrysler used this loop hole to continue selling what were essentially 1972 cars through 1973 as 1973 models.
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