Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Quick Hits: The Frugal and the Frivolous


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

Drop the top? Not in this economic weather.

The expendable nature of the convertible makes it especially vulnerable when the economy declines. Unlike gas-guzzling pickup trucks and SUV's, which either have more cargo space or extra seats, going topless fills no practical consumer need.

According to MSNBC, in 2007 convertible registrations were down 8.9%, compared to an industrywide decline of 2.5%, with automakers Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) feeling the brunt of the losses. These tell-tale figures could be much higher this year.

But there's an exception to this rule. According to Motor Trend magazine, sales for the newly remodeled Chrysler Sebring convertible are up 800% from one year ago. The vehicle's success is attributed to a new hard top that can be automatically deployed and retracted.

Hard tops used to be fingered for taking the fun out of convertibles by making them more practical, but the meteoric rise in Sebring sales proves that, at least for today, practical is king. Even luxury carmaker Porsche, not exactly known for fuel efficiency, is considering hybrid versions of its iconic fleet of sports cars.

The times they are a-changin' for American consumer culture - one mile at a time.

For more on autos, check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report:

< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.







Featured Videos