A study conducted by Autofacts has revealed sales of convertibles have plummeted in the last seven years.

A study conducted by Autofacts has revealed sales of convertibles have plummeted in the last seven years.

Europe and North America are considered to be key markets for cabrios and while in 2007 approximately 827,000 open-top cars were sold, last year the number of deliveries dropped to just 444,000 units. Moreover, the AID information service says during the first half of 2007 convertible sales accounted for 5.4 percent of all auto sales but in the first half of this year the percentage was of only 3.3 percent.

Talking to Automotive News, Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said that two convertibles should be enough for the VW brand which probably means further open-top models will be axed in the future, following the demise of the aging Eos.

Crossovers and SUVs are the main cause why sales of convertibles have dropped so much and this massive decrease has affected all major roof suppliers. With a market share of 49 percent, Webasto is the biggest roof supplier in the world but in recent years they had to close several facilities. Magna CTS (34 percent market share) and Valmet (15 percent) have also been severely affected by plummeting cabrio sales.

According to Matthias Meyer, member of the management board at analysis firm Research Fellows, sales of convertibles have also been affected by the availability of large panoramic roofs for a wide variety of models, offering a similar open-air experience without the considerable bump in price of a cabriolet.

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