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Chrysler Dropping Convertible 200 – But Ragtops Live On

Ragtops shift to sporty, high-line model segments.

by on Mar.18, 2014

Chrysler has no plans to add a convertible version of the new 2015 200 sedan.

Convertibles have been part of the model mix at Chrysler ever since the mid-1980s when then-Chairman Lee Iacocca re-introduced the Chrysler LeBaron. And it lived on in the later Sebring model — which itself was renamed the Chrysler 200 a few years back. But as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles gets ready to launch its new Chrysler 200, the “D-segment” convertible is going away, with no plans to replace it, the maker confirms.

“We built the last (Chrysler 200 convertible) in October,” Andy Love, senior manager for the Chrysler brand and the Chrysler 200, told “Dealers still have some stock so we’re still going to be selling them,” he added, but once the old model runs out there’ll be no 200 convertible to follow.

Clear the Air!

Love explained that the ragtop segment is steadily shrinking.  The days when manufacturers automatically included a convertible version of their midsize and compact models is rapidly coming to an end.  That doesn’t mean the convertible is going away, it’s just shifting to sportier and more luxurious product segments.


Convertibles Facing a Cloudy Future

Demand shrinks despite new offerings.

by on Jul.22, 2011

Despite sluggish ragtop sales, the buyers are lining up for the new Chevy Camaro Convertible.

With the temperature nudging 100 in much of the country, even the most diehard convertible fans have folded up the top and turned on the air conditioning.  But the ongoing heat wave doesn’t explain why convertible sales have gone cold.

Now, drop-tops will never again match the numbers of yester-year, when they were as common as station wagons parked in the driveways of ‘50s-era suburbs.  But even as recently as 2006, convertibles accounted for about 2.0% of the U.S. auto market, according to data from R.L. Polk.  Last year, that plunged to an even 1.0% and the question is whether there’s a sunny future ahead.

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“Will this market be able to rebound?” asks Polk analyst Mark Pauze.  “We are seeing a slight uptick” in sales this year, but the increase in convertible sales isn’t keeping pace with the overall improvement in the U.S. new car market, he adds.

There are some exceptions.  Audi can barely keep up with demand for models like the A5 Cabriolet, many customers waiting for backorders to be filled from the factory in Germany.  The new Chrysler 200 Convertible appears to be making up for the declines suffered by the unloved Sebring drop-top.