Convertible sales account for a tiny fraction of the market, and that slice is shrinking.
Cloth top cars have never accounted for a major proportion of automotive sales. They’re unpleasant in cold climates and more expensive than their hardtop variants. That paired with the last recession saw sales of the sun-loving cars sink from the 2 percent market share they held in 2006 to under one percent this year.
Most of the market’s atrophying soft top sales come from lower-end vehicles. High-end buyers are more concerned with whether the animals used to upholster their seats were allowed near barbed wire than the marginal uptick associated with a drop top. Seriously.
Is it any surprise that cars like the convertible Chevrolet Cavalier haven’t managed to inspire successors?
Through April, the Ford Mustang sold more soft tops than any other car this year with 6,421 units. The Camaro followed with 4,751 while the Volkswagen Beetle came third with 4,305 — all according to data compiled by R.L. Polk.
Are the days of low-cost cabrios headed the way of the dodo? Probably not. There are signs that major automakers are willing to suffer thin margins to continue offering low(ish) cost convertibles.
Toyota brought a concept version of the GT86 sports car to Geneva last March (pictured above). While it isn’t a production car, it’s an indicator that the brand is at least entertaining the possibility of building one.
Meanwhile, there’s no reason to think that brands like General Motors or Ford will axe their convertible muscle cars any time soon.
[Source: Automotive News]