Is public opinion hardening on soft-tops?

Will the days of the drop top soon be gone forever? Sounds like a pretty glib thing to say in the middle of November but with so many cabs to choose from the market for them has become somewhat diluted to say the least and, according to some of our contacts, customers have become just plain bored with them.

The re-launch of the Golf cab for example, although bafflingly when the summer was over, has failed to ignite the way dealers would have hoped and there are already great deals to be had on them. That’s something that would never have happened a few years ago. The fact that many car makers have delved into the ‘coupe cab market’ has not necessarily increased the appeal to buyers and because of our unpredictable weather they are not prepared to gamble on paying the extra money for a few days of sunshine.

Of course in a downturn such as this mid-range cabs and family cars will inevitably be overlooked in favour of smaller cheaper and more economical cars, but according to some in the trade even during the peak cab buying months of May and June there was nowhere near the demand there has been in recent years. You only need visit any auction house to see virtually any cab make £1,500 off CAP if they get a bid at all.

The irony is that in days gone by when cabs rattled, leaked and the hoods caused a problem, buyers bought them and now there is a hard top and not so many leaks and far much more choice they are not so popular.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues indefinably and to some extent it would be a shame if they were to start petering out, but maybe brining out a cheaper more affordable drop top may bring the customers who like a bit of fun and the wind whistling though their hair back into the showrooms in 2012, watch this space.

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