U.S. Convertible Sales Continue to Drop

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on August 17th, 2012

Late last year Naseem wrote an article titled “Where Have all the Ragtops Gone?” – which called attention to America’s waning interest in convertible cars.

Given the recent uptick in car sales, we expected that the demand for topless cars would increase. However, Smart Money Magazine reports that’s not the case at all. In fact, the situation has only gotten worse.

[W]hile Americans might still fantasize about tooling around the neighborhood with the top down, they’re not opening their wallets to make that dream a reality.

Convertible sales, which typically make up a minuscule 2 percent of the car market, fell even further in 2011, to just over 1 percent. And the drop-off comes as sales should be accelerating; new-car sales turned around last year and are expected to hit 14.4 million units this year. The problem, say analysts, starts with the sticker price. A convertible Ford Mustang, for instance, costs about $5,000 more than the standard coupe. […]

Not surprisingly, the economic downturn has prompted drivers to home in on practicality and affordability — not exactly the biggest strengths of a model that’s often a second (or third or even fourth) car. [more]

With U.S. drivers buying fewer ragtops, American automakers have little incentive to keep producing them – which explains why you can now count the number of American-made convertibles on your fingers.

If something isn’t done soon to reverse this trend, we may well be the last generation of auto trimmers to work on new, American convertibles – a sad proposition.




One Response

  1. RETIRED… WELL IT USE TO BE ONCE THE KIDS WERE GONE FROM THE HOME TO COLLEGE /MARRIED OR WAR, THEN THE OLDER FOLKS WOULD BUY ONE WHY BECAUSE THERE FRIENDS WHO DIDNT HAVE KIDS HAD ONE AND IT SEEMED LIKE A FUN VEHICLE. BUT TODAY THERES ALL KINDS OF FUN VEHICLES AND LIKE YOUR ARTICLE SAYS SOME TIMES ITS A THIRD CAR WHICH IS MINE. BUT YOUVE GOT TO LOOK AT THIS THE WEATHER ISNT COOPERATING ALMOST EVERY NEWS ARTICAL ON HEALTH MENTIONS SKIN CANCER. AND THE OZONE IS IN THE WRONG PLACE. WHY BECAUSE SOME ONE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GREAT TO SEE THE STARS BETTER I SUPPOSE. PLUS THERE ARNT MANY TRIMMERS LIKE MY DAD LEFT WHO WOULD RATHER WORK THAN EAT. IVE SEEN HIM TELL CUSTOMERS ILL PUT THE TOP ON FOR THE PRICE OF THE TOP AND A BENJIMEN 100 DOLLARS. OF COARSE MY DADS BEEN IN TRIMMER HEAVEN FOR 12 YEARS. BUT YOU JUST DONT HAVE TRIMMERS WHO WANT THE WORK THAT BAD ANYMORE AND THEN YOUVE GOT EVERYTHING ELSE THE USA ECONOMY HAS FALLEN BEHIND OTHER COUNTRYS AND WE ARE BORROWING THERE MONEY. ON TOP OF ALL THIS YOU HAVE FOLKS WHO KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE AND THEY WANT TO PROTECT IT . THEY DONT DRIVE THEM IN THE RAIN THERE KEPT GARAGED, PEOPLE ARE JUST WISER DOTAY THAN YESTERYEAR AND THEN YOU HAVE THE SAFTY ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH CONVERTABLES, THEY ALL DIDNT COME WITH A ROOL BAR.JUST SO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THINGS HAVE GONE UP IN PRICE. IN 1970 I PURCHASED A 1957 CHEVEROLET BELAIR NO POST WHICH WAS 13 YEARS OLD. THE CAR HAD STAINLESS STEEL PARTS AS WELL AS ALUMINUM TRIM. NOW THIS WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL CAR I PURCHASED IT FOR $700.00 AT A USED CAR LOT. TODAY THIS BLUE BEAUTY WOULD SELL FOR AROUND $40,000.00 IF LOOKING AS I PURCHASED MINE. BOY DO I WISH ID KEPT THAT CAR.


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