March 25, 2003

Top ten convertibles announced

Southfield, Michigan – According to R. L. Polk’s 2002 Total New Vehicle Registrations, the top ten convertibles in the U.S.A in 2002 were:

  • Chrysler Sebring: 43,809
  • Ford Mustang: 42,418
  • Ford Thunderbird: 19,356
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse: 15,887
  • Lexus SC 430: 14,925
  • Mazda Miata: 14,089
  • Mercedes SL: 12,415
  • Chevrolet Corvette: 11,959
  • Porsche Boxster: 10,300
  • Honda S2000: 9,728

The Chrysler Sebring Convertible regained the title as the top-selling ragtop in 2002 after a two-year hiatus. The Ford Mustang, which had been in first place, came in second. The Ford Thunderbird jumped to third place from its introductory level of 22nd in 2001.

Total convertible registrations for the U.S. in 2002 reached 302,320, a drop of 2.7 percent from 2001. However, convertibles made up a larger percentage of the total passenger car market, accounting for 3.8 percent of total passenger car registrations in 2002 compared with 3.6 percent in 2001.

“Convertibles continue to be an important and growing part of the automotive market in the U.S.,” said Lonnie Miller, director of analytical solutions at R. L. Polk & Co. “Car companies use them to build showroom traffic, evolve brand image and attract new buyers into a franchise. New convertibles like the Audi A4, the BMW Z4, the Ford Thunderbird and the New Beetle Convertible from VW continue to infuse life and interest into this segment. The growing number of new convertible offerings gives evidence of the strategic importance they play both for consumers and manufacturers.”

The convertible market in the U.S. has been very healthy since the mid 1990’s. The 2001 high-water mark was the first time in over 30 years that the U.S. convertible market surpassed the 300,000 unit level. While the convertible market was down 2.7 percent from the previous year, the general U.S. passenger car market fell 6.0 percent in 2002 and the overall U.S. light vehicle market was down 3.3 percent.

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