US: study says convertible owners are educated and prosperous image

New research conducted by Experian Automotive reveals that cabrio owners typically tend to be more educated and affluent than the average American motorist.

Experian also noted that most cabrio users are found – naturally – in the sunshine states, such as California, Texas or Florida, while manufacturers continue to offer convertible models across their line-ups even as the segment’s sales have been dwindling. Usually premium automakers have the biggest number of ragtops, but actually very popular models are coming from mainstream brands – such as Ford’s Mustang cabrio version or the iconic Mazda Miata (MX-5).

“The one long-standing perception of convertible vehicles is that they are driven predominately by consumers who live in sunny, coastal areas,” said Brad Smith, director for Experian Automotive. “While that notion certainly rings true, it’s not the only difference. Our research shows that convertible drivers also tend to be more affluent than the average new car buyer. One explanation to this could be that more luxury brands tend to have a convertible option.”

The study, which was based on the first quarter of the year, saw on average 38.2% of all new car buyers having at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to more than 50% for convertible customers. Also, one in five buyers of open top models had incomes that exceeded $175,000 a year, while 11.7% also had homes worth at least $1 million.