Ragtop buyers tend to be educated, affluent

California is tops when it come to driving with the top down. Convertible car buyers are affluent, educated and tend to live in California, especially Southern California, according to Experian Automotive, an industry research company and arm of the giant consumer credit rating agency.

There were 4.5 million convertible vehicles on U.S. roads during the first quarter, making up 1.8 percent of the entire vehicle market.

The top five convertible models on the road during the first quarter of 2014 were the Ford Mustang, Chrysler Sebring, Mazda Miata/MX-5, BMW 3-Series and Chevrolet Corvette, Experian found. The Mustang was the bestselling ragtop in every state.

Experian looked at convertible buyers during the first quarter of this year and found that half hold at least a bachelor’s degree. That compares to only 38.2 percent of other new car buyers.

They also are well off. Nearly 19 percent have an average household income of more than $175,000, and 11.7 percent own a home valued at more than $1 million. Only 10.7 percent of new car buyers are in the same income bracket, and just 4.4 percent have a $1-million home.

Experian found that California accounted for 13.4 percent of the convertibles registered in the first quarter, followed by Florida (9.6 percent), Texas (7 percent), New York (4.3 percent) and Illinois (3.9 percent). The top metropolitan areas for convertible sales were Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.

“The one long-standing perception of convertible vehicles is that they are driven predominantly 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.”

More in Herald Business Journal

Driving the Dodge Demon, the world’s fastest production car

Our test took place at US 131 Motorsports Park, on a fully prepped professional drag strip.

Mountlake Terrace-based 1st Security Bank wasn’t traded publicly during the recession, but it has seen a steady growth since the recession. (Jim Davis / HBJ)
How stocks in local banks fared since the recession

Every bank was hit hard during the recession, but most have bounced back in a big way.

Boeing bolsters team for potential 797 with leading engineer

Terry Beezhold has been chief project engineer for the 777X program.

Tom Hoban
Are millennials warming up to life in suburbia?

They dominate the apartment market and their wants need to be accounted for, says columnist Tom Hoban.

Camano artist mixes flask, paintings for successful cocktail

Art flasks prove popular as bachelorette gifts, birthday presents and wedding favors.

Katie Garrison
New agent joins Re/Max Elite’s office in Snohomish

Re/Max Elite welcomed a new agent to its Snohomish office. Katie Garrison… Continue reading

UW Bothell Pub Talk looks at Greenhouse Gas Mystery

The Greenhouse Gas Mystery is the topic for the next UW Bothell… Continue reading

EvergreenHealth Monroe pharmacy interns travel to Ghana

Earlier this year, University of Washington School of Pharmacy students and EvergreenHealth… Continue reading

Everett Clinic Foundation gives $6,500 to nonprofit Christmas House

The Everett Clinic Foundation recently awarded a $6,500 operating grant to the… Continue reading

Most Read