Britain’s Odd Obsession with Convertibles

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on August 27th, 2012

While America has experienced a sharp drop in demand for convertible cars, Britain’s market continues to grow. This, of course, is odd given how much worse weather is for topless motoring in the UK.

Even more odd is the fact that most British convertible owners never even drop their tops. A recent study conducted by Audi found that Brits buy soft-top cars for an entirely different reason.

AutoBlog UK explains:

Just under two thirds of Britain’s convertible owners (64%) either never or rarely take the roof down, according to the research by Audi, which has four convertibles in its model line-up.

Almost half of the owners polled (46%) claimed exotic looks rather than wind-in-the-hair driving appeal as their primary reason for choosing a soft top, “suggesting that it is the cachet of owning an exotic open car that is the motivator rather than the practicality of having an open or closed choice,” said the German brand.

Women are more likely to frequently drive with the top down; 39% said they almost always drives with their car open, compared to 32% of males, and only 17% of women claimed that they never drop their roof versus 27% for the male contingent. [more]

Interestingly, this reasoning may ultimately create a catch 22. As more and more Brits buy convertible cars, the less exotic they’ll become. Combined with how impractical they already are in the UK, demand may eventually decline even sharper than it already has in the US.

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