Total convertible registrations for the US in 2002 reached 302,320, a drop of 2.7% from 2001. Despite the drop, 2002 was just the second year in the past 30 that convertible registrations topped the 300,000 mark.

Although the total number of convertibles was down in comparison with 2001, convertibles made up a larger percentage of the total passenger car market, accounting for 3.8% of total passenger car registrations in 2002 compared with 3.6% in 2001.

"Convertibles continue to be an important and growing part of the automotive market in the U.S.," said Lonnie Miller, director of analytical solutions at RL Polk & Co. "Car companies use them to build showroom traffic, evolve brand image and attract new buyers into a franchise.”

The convertible market in the US has been very healthy since the mid 1990s. The 2001 high-water mark was the first time in over 30 years that sales passed the 300,000-unit level. While the convertible market was down 2.7% from the previous year, the general US passenger car market fell 6% in 2002 and the overall US light vehicle market was down 3.3%.

The Chrysler Sebring regained the title as the top-selling ragtop in 2002 after a two-year hiatus, with 43,809 registrations. The Ford Mustang, which had been in first place, came in second with 42,418 registrations. The Ford Thunderbird jumped to third place from its introductory level of 22nd in 2001 with 19,356 registrations.

Top Ten Convertibles in the US in 2002:
1 Chrysler Sebring 43,809
2 Ford Mustang 42,418
3 Ford Thunderbird 19,356
4 Mitsubishi Eclipse 15,887
5 Lexus SC 430 14,925
6 Mazda Miata (MX-5) 14,089
7 Mercedes SL 12,415
8 Chevrolet Corvette 11,959
9 Porsche Boxster 10,300
10 Honda S2000 9,728