2024 Ford Mustang
Convertibles – once the hallmark of outdoor freedom, road trips and summer adventures – are slowly disappearing as the auto industry shifts to all-electric cars and a more rugged sport utility vehicle.
Sales of traditional pickup models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, as well as road cars like the Mazda Miata, have plummeted in the US to less than 100,000 vehicles a year, according to S&P Global Mobility. That’s down from recent peaks of nearly 320,000 vehicles, or 2% of total US new-vehicle sales in 2006, and about 144,200, or 0.8%, in 2015.
According to experts, the reasons for the decline of convertibles include practicality, durability, increased costs and new panoramic sunroof and glass windows. Automakers are also investing capital in terrain models and tram.
“The trajectory has gone down and there’s no strong consumer interest,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at S&P Global Mobility. “During the transition to electric vehicles and where automakers put their money to develop, it won’t be for convertibles.”
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
Including SUVs that are considered convertibles by federal safety standards, such as the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco, doesn’t help sales too much. Even counting those cars, last year’s sales were down 26% since 2015. They’re down 21% between then and 2019, which was the last year the auto industry experienced no production disruptions. or substantial supply chain.
The drop in sales came as the number of convertibles and roadsters – two-seater with a convertible or convertible top – fell from 29 models in 2011 to 23 in 2019. But many Current vehicle type is high-end or low-end. -Volume models from ultra-premium automakers like FerrariLamborghini, and other luxury car brands.
As reported by J.D. Power, convertibles have made up 28% of ultra-premium vehicles so far, while accounting for only 0.5% of the total US auto industry, including 0.3% of entry-level vehicles.
Discontinued models from more mainstream brands from the 2000s include:
- Chrysler Sebring, PT Cruiser and 200
- Pontiac G6
- Nissan Murano
- Volkswagen Beetle
- Toyota Camry
- Smart ForTwo
- Buick Cascada
Haartz Corp. – a global leader in soft-top materials – reports its sales have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but the downward trend in soft-top prices continues globally, no only in the US.
Phil Hollenbeck, planning director at Haartz, said: “What we are seeing right now is that electrification is taking away, even more, from the transition world.
2016 Beetle Dune
Credit: © Copyright Volkswagen of America, Inc.
The Massachusetts-based supplier, which is celebrating its centennial, developed the first “synthetic fiber coating” for automobiles in 1922.
In the early days of the auto industry, nearly all cars were convertibles or convertibles. Hardtops were introduced as a premium option – a trend that has carried over into modern times. For example, in 2022 Ford Mustang hardtop starting at $27,470. The converted version starts at around $33,000.
JD Power reports the average cost of a convertible has increased from about $45,000 in 2011 to $70,400 in 2021. In 2022, amid supply chain issues leading to higher prices, this figure has increased to 79,200 USD. That makes SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco some of the cheapest, most available options.
“The Bronco and Wrangler combined outsold all of the 5:1 convertible models, and both start at $30,000, making them the most expensive,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at JD Power. into one of the cheapest ways to enjoy a premier experience,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at JD Power. “With 59% of SUV retail sales in 2022, these two models could be the face of the future convertible.”
According to JD Power, the best-selling convertible models of the past two years include the Chevrolet Corvette, Mazda MX-5, BMW 4 Series and Ford Mustang.
Jim Owens, Ford Mustang marketing chief, said that only about 15% of car sales to consumers – 72,500 units in 2019 – were convertibles. He said demand has been slowly dwindling. However, there is still a “dominant” demand in rental car fleets.
Polestar O2 . electric vehicle concept
Beyond rental cars and SUVs, there’s still some hope for new convertibles and roadsters in the coming years, including electric vehicles. Ford last week announced a convertible Mustang as part of the seventh generation car. Tesla committed bring a new roadster to the market. Start EV Polestar production plan an electric convertible.
S&P Global Mobility forecasts sedan and roadster sales will grow to about 82,000 vehicles in 2024 and 2025, before falling again below 70,000 units by the end of the decade.
Haartz’s Hollenbeck says once automakers launch electric vehicles, they’ll be looking for ways to make the vehicle stand out – and one of those will likely be the best-selling cars.
“We’ll see what the market wants later. We can see Switchable Electric Challenger Future? I don’t see why not,” he said. I can’t imagine that all of them will leave. People who like convertibles love them. “