SMMT lifts lid on convertible car market with exhibition

Over the past twenty years, the UK has become known as a convertible-loving nation. In August 2004, SMMT had recorded 78,000 convertible car registrations in the year to date. Currently there are over a million convertible cars on UK roads.However, despite the whole new car market seeing a record 29 months of growth, demand for convertible cars has lessened in recent years. In 2013 27,222 convertible cars were registered, compared to 64,519 a decade earlier.One contributing factor to this is a recent change in consumer habits. In the past five years the dual-purpose and multi-purpose vehicle markets have grown by 87% and 59% respectively. Evidently, consumers are now choosing more practical and versatile vehicles.During the economic downturn, consumers turned to the more affordable and efficient vehicles in the mini and supermini segments. Since 2007, the mini segment has nearly tripled, while 813,000 cars were registered in the supermini segment in 2013, marking a 5.5% increase over 2007.In the same time, the specialist sports car segment shrunk by 27%.With economic confidence returning to the UK, however, the specialist sports car segment is now starting to see an upturn. It grew by 3.1% to nearly 50,000 units in 2013.Currently on display at SMMT are two cars that show that positivity exists in the convertible market: the Citroen DS3 Racing Cabriolet and Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe.One of a new breed of fabric-roofed superminis, the Citroen DS3 Cabriolet has accounted for around 10% of the model’s sales so far this year.Over the past 25 years, the Mazda MX-5 has become synonymous with open-top motoring. Since it was launched in the UK in 1990, Mazda has sold 108,974 examples, with registrations remaining strong into 2014. To find out more about the changing UK new car market, see SMMT’s new car registration data.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Championship Saturday Oklahoma Ohio State make CFP case

Before the College Football Playoff field is set, there is one last chance to make a case to the selection committee.No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Ohio State both need to win Saturday — and they should both be rooting for Alabama.The Sooners enter Championship Saturday with a chance to make the playoff for a second straight season. Oklahoma faces archrival Texas for the Big 12 title in the first of four Power Five championship games that will decide the four-team playoff field that will be revealed Sunday.Ohio State plays Northwestern in the Big Ten championship. No. 1 Alabama faces No. 4 Georgia for the SEC title and a win by the Crimson Tide could open the door for the Sooners or Buckeyes. No. 2 Clemson is heavily favoured against Pittsburgh in the ACC championship game.In all, there are nine championship games on Saturday: Besides the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 games, titles will be settled in the Sun Belt (Louisiana-Lafayette at Appalachian State), Conference USA (UAB at Middle Tennessee), American Athletic (Memphis at UCF), the SWAC (Southern at Alcorn State) and the Mountain West (Fresno State at Boise State).___More AP college football: and D. Russo, The Associated Press read more