In the past several years the convertible were a real success. But there are up and downs: the segment fell below 300,000 new registrations last year for the first time since 2003, according to data by R.L. Polk & Co.

Polk said convertibles maintained about a 2 percent share in the U.S. light-vehicle market even though registrations dropped by more than twice the rate of the overall market decline.

"Although the convertible market continued to grow in 2005 and 2006 despite declines in the general market, it was not immune to 2007’s depressed economic climate," Polk consultant Mark Pauze said in a statement.

"Despite the increased availability of retractable hardtops, which have made convertibles more appealing to many consumers, they are still considered discretionary purchases and were impacted by reduced consumer spending and conservative economic attitudes."

The Ford Mustang remained on top of the segment with 32,694 registrations in 2007, but was down 33 percent from 2006. The Chrysler Sebring was No. 2 with 20,373 registrations, up 2.7 percent from 2006. Each of the top 10 U.S. convertible markets by registrations posted a decline in 2007 compared with the year before. That includes a 1.2 percent drop for both No. 1 New York and the 2006 leader, Los Angeles.

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Source: Automotive News

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