Fleet News

Convertibles sales surge continues

DESPITE Britain’s reputation for dismal summers, sales of new convertibles in the UK are on the up.

According to EurotaxGlass’s, publishers of the Glass’s Guide to Used Car Values, sales of new convertible cars in 2005 have surged, driven by growing demand for folding hard-top vehicles.

In 2001, sales of new convertibles represented 2.4% of the total UK new car market, but by June 2005 this figure was 5.2%. Despite the resulting increase in convertibles entering the used car market, there is no evidence of falling residual values.

The average volume-brand convertible holds on to 52% of its original list price after three years and 36,000 miles, compared to 59% for a premium brand convertible. This compares with 45% for the average used car across the market as a whole.

While the figures are down compared to last year, the relative differences between the three categories are unchanged, demonstrating the continued strength of convertibles in the used market.

Adrian Rushmore, EurotaxGlass’s managing editor, said: ‘Over the next two years we expect to see values of three-year-old soft tops from the volume brands lose ground to the coupe-cabriolets.

‘Volume-brand coupe-convertibles are likely to appear in ever-increasing numbers, and should achieve higher residual values than soft-top alternatives.

‘The convertible car market still has a lot of potential in terms of expanding new sales and there will remain a ready market for used examples.’

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