If Paula Cole were a car enthusiast (and forgive us if she is), she would probably rework her hit song to ask, "Where have all the convertibles gone?" Look around and you may have noticed that less people are buying new convertibles these days. The folks at Polk have taken a look at the sales numbers for convertibles, and market share for droptops is down... way down.

Convertibles must've been hard to keep on dealer lots back in 2006, when the reclining-roof rollers accounted for 2 percent of all new vehicle sales. That amounts to nearly 350,000 drivers letting the sun shine in. In 2010, however, total convertible sales fell over 50 percent while market share dropped to just 1.2 percent.

If one automaker wanted to declare victory in this declining segment, it would be General Motors. Through the first part of the year, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible has accounted for 12.4 percent of the droptop market. The Ford Mustang isn't far behind, making up for an even 11 percent.


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  • 26 Comments
      icharlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      If there were more good 4 seat convertibles for under $30k that didn't include the muscle car camaro and stang, then they would most likely sell more.
      jayhawkjeeper
      • 3 Years Ago
      Strange, I see more wranglers driving around than other convertibles combined!
      Chris Westcott
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is this really about? I think it's about financing and the economy. Convertibles are fairly expensive and not very practical. In this economy, people are cautious... also, its become increasingly difficult to obtain financing for a $30,000 to $50,000 car. When loans are easier obtain and people feel more confident, they will splurge on a convertible.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      merritr
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet scared away all the convertible drivers.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      Jason Ross
      • 3 Years Ago
      Much like the "when we don't offer any small pickups, no one buys them", analysis that the automakers have previously delivered to kill off small pickups, this one is kind of a no-brainer. If there was a convertible that had four seats (No MX5, the kids need to sit somewhere), FWD (damn you winter), a decent reputation for quality (Sebring), and a price point that didn't start in the mid-30's (VW, BMW 1) and go right up to the 50's (BMW 3, Audi A4), there might be more life in this market. I would love to put a convertible in the garage for my next auto purchase, but I think I'm going to have to go with something with a sunroof, since I don't see myself relocating somewhere warmer anytime soon.
        oRenj9
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason Ross
        Toyota used to make a car that fit what you're asking perfectly but they killed it because nobody bought it.
          Jason Ross
          • 3 Years Ago
          @oRenj9
          Are you referring to the Celica or the Solara? The Celica is more what I would have been excited for. The Solara ... well, I guess I am getting older and would like a pillowy ride and underwhemling handling :)
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've looked around and I see no shortage of convertibles in L.A.
        The Angry Intern
        • 3 Years Ago
        @soundbargaming
        I see plenty in San Diego, too.....only about 90% of the time the top is up. I never understood that. Spend extra on a convertible, live in a climate that you could put the top down about 90% of the time...never actually drive with the top down.
          meshcount
          • 3 Years Ago
          @The Angry Intern
          I thought the same until I got a convertible. Now, when it's 80+ degrees, I prefer the shade of the top up and wait until dusk to drop the top. I think people just get tired of waiting that extra 10+ seconds for their top to to be motorized down; maybe that's why the majority of top-down drivers I see are Miatas where the manual top takes less than 2 seconds either way.
      AlphaGnome
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is still demand for a good convertible here.. keyword is good. Since the S2k went the way of the Dodo, what else is there that is fun, affordable and most importantly, desirable other than the Miata? Also, I see way more Camaro drop tops than hard tops around here.
        drbyers
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AlphaGnome
        I bought a used S this year, just because all the current convertibles on the market just don't appeal to me or fall way out of my budget. People say convertibles are hard to live with, but so are ginormous SUVs when gas is just under $4 a gallon...
          ilmhmtu
          • 3 Years Ago
          @drbyers
          Same here. I bought a used S2K last month. I will say that if you want to use a car like this for everyday driving, it would be a lot harder. I kept my old car for "practicality," but it's an old '96 Accord that I've had since high school (a far cry from afluent).
      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice puns in the headline.
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see(if i can catch up with them) a lot of Tesla Roadsters driving around in LA, too.
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