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Cadillac Developing New Convertible

Will slot in under next-gen CTS.

by on Apr.29, 2011

Caddy will develop an all-new soft-top convertible, rather than going the folding hard-top route or modifying the current CTS Coupe.

Cadillac is looking to go topless.  Years after abandoning its last drop-top, the domestic luxury maker is reportedly developing a new convertible that will be part of a wave of new products coming to market by mid-decade.

The Detroit maker is apparently opting for a soft-top, rather than the more heavy, complicated – and expensive – folding metal roof that a number of makers, including BMW and Volkswagen, have been adopting.

As reported earlier this week, convertible sales have plunged precipitously in recent years, from 247,519 in 2005 to 112,914 just four years later.  Ford has seen demand for the  Mustang ragtop drop from 25% of the pony car’s overall sales to just 13% lately.  But there are signs of a ragtop renaissance.

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Convertible sales rose 9% last year, to 122,949 – though that was below the overall U.S. market recovery – and a forecast by consulting firm IHS anticipates the segment’s volume will reach 223,224 by 2015, about the time Caddy goes al fresco.

There had been some talk of stripping the roof off the striking CTS Coupe, but that approach was apparently abandoned in favor of a more ground-up design that doesn’t need extensive shoring up to maintain the convertible’s body dynamics.