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Chrysler Sebring is top-selling convertible in record sales year

November 22, 2010
Convertible registrations in the U.S. reached record levels in 2004, with a 6.3 percent increase over last year, and the Chrysler Sebring repeated as the top-selling convertible. The 315,306 total convertible registrations surpassed the 2001 record of 309,741. "The success of the convertible in 2004 is due to a strong overall automotive market and several new convertible introductions," said Lonnie Miller of Polk. "Convertibles are considered a discretionary purchase, and as such a strong convertible market reflects an optimistic economic mood witnessed by the economic turnaround experienced in 2004." New convertible introductions in 2004 included PT Cruiser, Chevy SSR, BMW 645, Mini Cooper, Audi S4, Lotus Elise and Chrysler Crossfire. Convertibles have held steady at 1.8 percent of the total market over the past three years. At 1.9 percent in 2004, convertibles are inching closer to 2 percent of the overall light vehicle market. The increase in the convertible market of 6.3 percent was significantly above the increase in light vehicle market registrations of 1.4 percent. "Convertibles have become an integral part of many manufacturers' strategy," said Miller. "They jazz up the brand's overall vehicle portfolio, attract a desirable demographic and serve as showroom traffic builders. The introduction of hardtop convertibles is making them more appealing and practical for a broader range of customers. Planned new convertible introductions and freshened models will keep this category lively." Los Angeles and New York are the largest retail markets in the country for convertibles with more than double the amount of convertibles as the third largest market: Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale. San Francisco came in fourth, followed by Chicago in fifth place.