Europe's premium convertible segment is on the rise as new models from Mercedes-Benz, Mini and Porsche help to revive a sector that had been in steady decline for eight consecutive years. Demand grew last year by 18 percent to 134,113 units and in the first five months volume has risen by 8.7 percent to 67,285 cabriolets, figures from JATO Dynamics show.
A big reason for the jump was the launch last June of the Mercedes C-class Cabriolet, which passed the BMW 2 series to become Europe's best-selling premium convertible through May. It also finished the period as Europe's No. 1 cabriolet overall after it easily outsold its closest volume competitor, the Fiat 500C, by more than 1,000 units. Mercedes' success is in marked contrast to the decline in demand for convertibles from volume brands. Sales in that niche have tumbled by more than 70 percent since 2007.