The convertible dies
The registration numbers of convertibles are on the decline
Source: Getty Images / Blend Images
The Germans are no longer into convertibles. New registrations have fallen dramatically. But there is also good news: the ugly retractable roof convertibles have completely disappeared from the market.
E.Every month there is a set of figures from which you can filter out a few truths: the numbers of new car registrations from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). They’re not perfect at reflecting actual sales of new cars, but the big lines are here, and one of those lines has a sad title: The Convertible Is Dying.
His death is creeping in, but the numbers are not deceptive. In 2007, when the open cars were shown for the first time in the freely accessible part of the KBA statistics, there were still 138,071 convertible new registrations in Germany, the manufacturers offered 57 different models.
Ten years later, the variety is 37 convertibles shrunk, which only found a buyer 83,598 times (better: a new license plate). The minus is 39.5 percent, and the convertible market share also fell significantly, halving from 4.4 to 2.2 percent.
The Mini with a fabric top is the best-selling convertible in Germany
There is no Opel Astra Convertible anymore, no Ford Focus Convertible and not a VW Golf with folding roof. In Wolfsburg, the open Golf had not been treated well anyway: there was no convertible at all for generations four and five. Later, the Eos entered the convertible market with folding steel roofs, and when it became apparent that the folding roof boom would not continue, a Golf VI convertible with a fabric top was quickly constructed.
Many convertible roof tops are just ugly
That was discontinued in 2016, a year after the Eos, and the Beetle Cabrio has also been able to do so since the beginning of 2018 can no longer be configured, only stocks have been sold. The number of registrations for the open Beetle fell from 8,683 in the first eight months of 2017 to 5,548 in the same period of this year. After all, that brings the VW to third place in the ranking, behind the front-runner Mini (6641) and Smart Fortwo (5606).
Why do people lose interest in open-top driving? Answers cannot be read from the statistics, there is only one thing that stands out: the boom in convertible registrations probably also had something to do with the idea of convertible roof tops. Mercedes had pushed ahead with the SLK Roadster in 1996, and Peugeot continued in 2000 this technology with the 206 CC in the mass market.
The seven most beautiful convertibles of my life
Suddenly you saw the new convertible coupes everywhere (this was the abbreviation CC), Renault came with the Megane CC, Nissan brought the Micra C + C, Opel the Astra TwinTop, Ford the Focus CC, Mitsubishi the Colt CZC – some vehicles had never been available as convertibles before. Even convertible classics like the BMW 3 Series suddenly sat on the retractable roof.
At some point, however, people must have realized how ugly many convertible top convertibles are, especially when they are closed. The rear part is not infrequently wide and high, because a double-folded steel roof has to fit into it.
The proportions of convertible convertibles are often wrong. The Nissan Micra C + C is a good example of this
Source: picture-alliance / gms
And because the linkage cannot carry that much weight, the roof parts are quite short, which is why the windshield is very slanted and thus comes very close to the driver’s face. In short: the proportions are seldom right, people must have noticed at some point.
So maybe we’re just experiencing a normalization at the moment. Because there are also convertibles in the statistics, the numbers of which are not that bad: The classic Mazda MX-5 roadster was registered exactly 4967 times in 2007, ten years later the number has risen to 5265 – also because of the additional folding roof version makes it an equally classic Targa. Go then.
The Mazda MX-5 is the best-selling roadster in the world. It is now also available in a Targa version called RF
Source: Jakob Hoff
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