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Convertibles boost sales

As the first shoots of spring emerge, new car sales figures for September show a jump in convertible buyers. And money is no object, with many prepared to spend up big to pop the roof down.

VFACTS industry figures show a modest sales surge of the Mazda MX5, Mini Cooper cabrio, Volkswagen Eos and Audi A3 convertible - all costing more than $40,000. Further up the price list Audi's A5 cabrio, the BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK and Volkswagen Eos are also popular with prices for some of the German cars topping out at more than $80,000.

Dealers and carmakers say the warmer weather is helping. Mazda spokesman, Steve Maciver, said the order books for the company's popular MX5 were growing. "It's a combination of things but once the warmer weather hits, people like the idea of a convertible," he said.

September sales figures show a 17 per cent jump in sportscar sales, which includes convertibles. Apart from topless motoring, luxury off-roaders are also proving popular. BMW spokesman, Toni Andreevski, said the company's popular X5 off-roader, which opens around $86,000, surged last month on the back of fresh supply from the United States. "We've got more stock and buyers are prepared to spend," he said.

TOP 10  BRANDS    Sept           YTD 2009 (+/- on 2008)
Toyota                   16,007             142,898       -22.3%
Holden                      9744               85,667       -14.0%
Ford                          8427               70,289       -13.7%
Mazda                       7205               57,695         -7.2%
Hyundai                    5484               47,625        36.4%
Mitsubishi                4312               40,092        -16.3%
Nissan                       4079               38,446       -15.8%
Honda                       3939               31,787       -22.9%
Subaru                      2807               27,225         -9.0%
Volkswagen             2307               22,717         -5.4%

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