August 23, 2012

Audi poll shows two-thirds of UK convertibles stay closed

Britain might be one of the world's biggest markets for convertible cars, but most owners are proving reluctant to open their soft tops according to a new survey released by Audi.

Conducted in August by the premium car maker, which has four soft-top models in its
portfolio, the survey indicates that just under two-thirds of Britain's convertible owners (64 per cent) either never or rarely take the roof down.

Almost half of the owners polled (46 per cent) cited exotic looks rather than wind-in-the-hair driving appeal as their primary reason for choosing a soft top, suggesting that it is the cachet of owning an exotic open car that is the motivator rather than the practicality of having an open or closed choice.

The survey also shows that of those who do like to come out from under the canvas, women owners are actually more likely than men to frequently drive in the open air; 39 per cent of the female contingent said they almost always drive with their car open, versus 32 per cent of males, and only 17 per cent claimed that they never drop their roof, compared with 27 per cent in the male camp. 

Who is most likely to drive with the top down? By far the largest age group are 25 to 34 year olds, and those living in the East Midlands are well above the national average when it comes to frequent trips open to the elements.

At Audi the UK is the biggest export market in the world for its cabriolets, "Our owners want the choice," explained Audi UK Director Martin Sander. "Drivers in Britain like to know they can drop their roof, especially as the weather here is so changeable.  But they also know that even with the roof up, a soft top car still looks out of the ordinary and highly desirable."

"In the wake of the patchy British summer of 2012, waiting times  for some convertibles are coming down. Open-top fans may be able to benefit from shorter lead times on models like the A3 and A5 Cabriolets as well as sports cars like the TT Roadster and the R8 Spyder," he concluded.


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