Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies


The convertible dies

Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies-registration

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.

Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies-Audi Source Audi Source Audi

The Mini with a fabric top is the best-selling convertible in Germany

Source: Mini

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.

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Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies-dies

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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.

Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies-registration

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.

Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies-registration

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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11 thoughts on “Registration numbers of the KBA: The convertible dies”

  1. Just so, I’ve been driving convertibles for 16 years, the opinions that you can’t go on vacation openly, etc. speak of the stupidity of know-it-alls, who already drives openly 500 km on the autobahn.
    The country road and the trips you make on vacation cannot be outweighed with money, like the feeling of freedom. The retractable roof is dead, but I hope that it will come back, soiling of the fabric roof, the impregnation and vandalism etc. are alien to the retractable roof.

    PS. Incidentally, the trunk of the Renault CC, VW CC, BMW and the Peugoet CC is partly larger than that of other cars, I even go on vacation and the OPEN with 2 BMW folding bikes and 2 huge suitcases

  2. Only once have I had a pedestal with a folding roof.
    And after three days the first knife slit.
    Several were added later.
    That is really fun.

    After that there were only sunroofs, just great.

  3. I’ve had the EOS since 2010 and don’t want to be without it anymore.
    A Caprio Coupè with every imaginable fresh air variant and probably the only one of its kind that has a panoramic sliding roof.

    What I also liked: With the roof closed, it is a totally inconspicuous coupè.

    Yeah yeah There are nicer caprios. For me, functionality matters.
    The EOS: every (summer) trip a short vacation. And otherwise not half a car.

  4. The first Mercedes SLK, BMW 3 Series E92 or VW Eos are stylistically extremely successful cars despite (or because of) the retractable roof. Rather, it was also cost reasons that caused the industry to move away from the retractable roof.
    Driving a convertible itself is probably also a way of life. Somehow I never got warm with it, although at some point I had fulfilled my long-standing wish for a 1303 convertible. A sunroof in the limousine, on the other hand, is almost a must for me. Otherwise they are and will remain mine "Convertible"-Favorites of the BMW 3 Series of the E30 series and … the Suzuki Samurai. As different as they are, you could make a tremendous impression with both of them in Munich in the 80s…

  5. Yes, there were really ugly retractable roof convertibles from some car brands, but if you think a Mercedes SLK or SL with a retractable roof is ugly, you probably have a confused taste, because these cars are classy, ​​noble, beautiful and will fetch very high prices as oldtimers.

  6. I still drive a nice E 46 convertible with 6 pots and a soft top 16 years old. Just wonderful the sound of the engine. Has now almost run 375,000, the KM you can not see him because of course I care for him very much. A convertible is always a compromise, I think it’s super easy to enjoy the sun on beautiful days like today with the push of a button. The sun brings good vitamin D to a good mood and makes you happy.

  7. Such a roadster with a retractable roof is something nice because it is fully suitable for all year round and does not depend on weather forecasts including planning for trips. In addition, a sports car without the specific disadvantages of a soft top at high speed, in terms of insulation or its limited durability. The fact that redesigned small and lower-middle class sedans are not exactly the yellow of the egg, mostly purely optical, is in my opinion almost obvious or because of this concept itself. Convertible sedans, 4 or 5-seater, certainly look better with a soft top, in my opinion also basically due to the type of construction. With the Mazda MX-5 you have to like that the rear half of the roof structure always remains. Completely open, a "correct" Convertible, the MX-5 is not.
    The convertible dies – so does the sedan. See the SUV and cross-over boom, despite "many are just ugly". This development may not be due to the optics alone.

  8. Have the 3rd barchetta in 20 years. The new open ones are usually pretty ugly, as the author already recognized, or simply too expensive. A convertible is actually always ugly, a roadster is not. Targa’s don’t count, otherwise you would have to count every car with a sunroof 🙂

  9. I only drive half a convertible (Targa), but that in itself is wonderful. Whenever I look for a new car, I make sure that it has at least one Targa roof, otherwise it won’t get into the bag. Unfortunately you won’t find anything nice and reliable anymore. The Japanese don’t do much there anymore. That’s why I’ll stick with old cars for a long time (they are usually much nicer too), just like many other people I know. That would explain at least part of the decline.


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