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News of  February 15, 2000


Convertible Sales Continue to Increase in 1999, According to ASC Incorporated

L.A. & New York Are Top Cities For Convertibles
SOUTHGATE, Mich. - Convertible sales in the United States have remained over the 200,000 vehicle mark for the fourth straight year, according to Mark Pauze, marketing manager with ASC Incorporated, a leading supplier of convertible and open air systems.


Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

According to ASC's U.S. convertible sales database, sales of convertibles in the U.S. in 1999 totaled 261,336, among foreign and domestic models. The 1999 figure is up seven percent from 1998 sales of 244,435, continuing the steady growth in convertible sales that began in the early 1990s.

"Both convertibles and the overall passenger vehicle market enjoyed similar sales increases in 1999," said Pauze. "Convertible sales remained at three percent of the overall market, the same percentage of the market as in 1998. Our data demonstrate that the convertible has truly become a staple of the automotive industry. Along with sunroofs and other innovations in open air design and engineering, we're now able to offer consumers a wide range of open air driving options."

The Chrysler Sebring led in overall convertible sales for the fourth straight year, with more than 51,000 units sold. The Ford Mustang followed closely behind, with 44,000 units sold in 1999. Other top-selling convertibles include the Mazda Miata, BMW Z3, Porsche Boxster, Volkswagen Cabriolet, Mercedes SLK, Chevrolet Corvette, Mitsubishi Eclipse and Chevrolet Cavalier.

ASC supplies convertible systems on the BMW Z3, Mitsubishi Eclipse and Chevrolet Cavalier, as well as the convertible boot for the Chrysler Sebring. Market-wise, ASC also supplies convertible systems for the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird and Sunfire, and the new Toyota Camry Solara to be introduced this spring.

Los Angeles and New York City were the leading cities in U.S. convertible sales during 1999, according to the ASC database. Sales in the nation's top five markets -- Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla. -- represented nearly 64 percent of overall sales for the year. The next five largest markets for convertible sales (in order of sales) include Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. "The varied location of these top markets indicates that convertibles are popular throughout the country, not just in warm-weather cities," said Pauze.

(Feb. 9, 2000)


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