According to Automotive News' research, convertibles currently account for a hair under 1 percent of the new car market. Last year, they represented about 1 percent of the market, but as recently as 2008 they took home just a bit under 2 percent overall.
While there's some strength at the upper end of the segment with cars like the megabuck Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and BMW 6-Series Convertible, automakers admit that there's not much upside to low cost convertibles any longer.
Through the first four months of 2013, the trade journal found that the best-selling convertible, the Ford Mustang, accounted for just 6,421 registrations in the U.S. At about 25 percent of total Mustang sales, that represents a decent chunk of the pony car's volume, but a large number of those droptops were likely sold as less-profitable fleet transactions. Rental fleets, particularly in sunny weather markets, remain chock full of convertibles like the Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
Speaking of the Camaro, it was the strongest-selling droptop in 2011 when it was re-launched as a convertible, but it has taken a back seat to the Mustang since. According, R.L. Polk data, these were the 10 best-selling convertibles through April of 2013:
- Ford Mustang - 6,421
- Chevrolet Camaro - 4,751
- Volkswagen Beetle - 4,305
- Mercedes-Benz SL-Class - 2,380
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 2,206
- BMW 328i - 2,108
- Chrysler 200 - 1,980
- Fiat 500 - 1,920
- Mazda MX-5 Miata - 1,822
- Porsche Boxster - 1,686