Open-air cars are a lot of fun unless that exposure comes as a surprise.
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Car buyers are choosing panorama roofs instead of convertibles. Ford has reported that sales of vehicles with panoramic roofs are increasing. Almost half of buyers purchasing the Explorer and Edge SUV are purchasing the option. About a third of Flex buyers are also buying the same skylight paneled cars.
Convertible sales have also decreased accordingly. Traditionally, drop top sales accounted for 1.8% to 2.0% of the automarket which is down to 1.2% to 1.4%, according to information firm R.L Polk & Co. For a comparison, the best selling convertible this year was the Chevrolet Camaro with 7,540 sales. The 2011 Explorer has already sold almost 25,000 vehicles equipped with the panoramic roofs. One reason for this success is that consumers are turning to more practical vehicles and finding that the panoramic roof is a good compromise.
Ford also has its own theory as to why the glass roofs are a hit. “We are seeing more buildings utilizing glass structures because letting natural light in is a popular architectural trend,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s manager of global trends and futuring. “This trend has crossed over to the automotive industry, and Ford’s Vista Roofs open the car to more sunlight which keeps drivers energized and gives the luxurious feel customers desire.”
[Source: LA Times]