Volvo used to make convertible cars, but they discontinued them in 2013.
The Volvo C70 was discontinued in 2013 due to poor sales. Volvo’s then-head Hakan Samuelsson also said that the company had a lot on its plate. The discontinuation was not surprising because the only Swedish plant which used to make C70s was also closed in 2013.
Volvo’s Convertible: The C70
Volvo introduced its first convertible in 1998. They launched Volvo C70 in two variants. One was a coupe and the other was convertible. It was a really exciting project for Volvo, as they had never built anything like that in the past. They teamed up with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) to make it possible.
The car was unveiled in 1996 at Paris Motor Show and was very well received. It was designed in Oxford at TWR. Volvo decided the characteristics and basic structure of the car, while TWR was in charge of design and production.
The car got a second-generation update in 2006. They improved in weight management and braking system. Handling was also improved in this generation. The convertible version’s roof got an update with a retractable hardtop. The interior also received some upgrades.
Why did Volvo discontinue their convertible?
The discontinuation was not surprising. In 2011, Volvo revealed that they were going to cease its production because of poor sales. The plant that built the C70 in Sweden was also closed in 2013. In 2013, the then-chief Hakan Samuelsson announced that the car’s successor would be out as soon as possible. However, the convertible version was never announced.
Volvo C70 was replaced by Polestar 1. This was unveiled in 2015. Polestar 1 is a plug-in hybrid sports car, but there is no convertible version of this car.
Will Volvo ever make a convertible again?
Looking at the past, Volvo discontinued its convertible due to poor sales. This indicates that making a new one would probably be too expensive for Volvo and in return it would be a low return. Convertibles require extra engineering with structural rigidity, making them much more costly to produce.
Also in 2017, in a big move by the company, Volvo announced that they were only going to make electric and hybrid cars. This moved Volvo’s whole focus towards electrification, making producing a flashy convertible is even more unlikely.
Volvo also does not have as big-scale of a production like other car brands. They produce many fewer cars than their rivals. Therefore, with their electrification plans combined with the lower scale of Volvo’s production, it is difficult to imagine them ever making a convertible again.
Volvo’s future plans
Volvo’s future plans also lack any signs of a convertible. With the announcement of electrification, they are fulfilling their promise of shifting to electric power. Volvo’s next goal is to sell 50% of their cars as fully electric vehicles. They have even planned to stop making hybrid cars by 2030. This would mean that they would switch to fully electric vehicles by 2030.
What are convertible cars?
A car that can be driven without any roof is known as a convertible car. The idea of convertible cars is simple. The passengers sit under an open roof while traveling. The roof is usually stored at the back and the retracting method of the roof differs from car to car. The majority of the roofs are foldable made of fabric. However, some are hardtops.
Convertible cars have been around for ages. Most of the cars that were introduced in the 19th century were open roofs. It was at the end of the 19th century when engines became more powerful. More powerful engines gave birth to the foldable roofs. The roofs were made of fabric or leather.
It was in the 1920s when steel bodies were mass-produced. They were cheaper and therefore, more affordable for the buyers. This gave rise to the closed roof cars. It was this time convertibles started disappearing. By the mid-1930s, convertibles were sold as high-priced luxury cars.
Problems with convertible cars
First, convertibles have an issue with structural rigidity. The car is modified to stay rigid which requires intensive engineering to make it stable. Then there are several other issues like:
- You can’t listen to the radio
- Convertible tops can leak
- Some convertibles speed is limited
Are convertible cars safe?
Many people have their concerns about rolling over in a convertible. Since most convertibles are sports cars, their center of gravity is very low. They are engineered to be like this. However, according to IIHS, modern convertibles are as safe as other cars.
Are there any convertible EVs?
There are no convertible EVs right now, but there’s progress in sight. Volkswagen is working on an electric convertible car and Tesla is also making progress in four-seater convertible EVs. Apart from them, some other automobile giants are also working to make a convertible EV like Bentley, Fiat, and Nissan.
What is the difference between convertible and cabriolet?
They are basically the same things. They both are open-roof cars with a foldable top. Cabriolet is a French word. Therefore, German and other European carmakers like to call them cabriolets, while Americans call them convertibles. However, nowadays the term convertible is much more famous than cabriolet.
Are convertibles dying?
According to most carmakers, convertibles have poor sales and take much more effort to engineer them. This is the reason why they are dying. The expensive production and lower demand make it much more difficult to maintain keeping them in a regular car lineup. However, if you can afford it, they are still flourishing in the luxury segment.
Are there any cheap convertibles?
As we all know, convertibles are usually more costly than the normal version of most car models. The high production cost and low demand make them much more expensive to produce. However, there are some comparatively cheaper convertibles available in the market such as:
- Fiat 500c: Pricing starts at $29,300.
- Mazda MX-5 Miata: Pricing starts at $23,970.
- Ford Mustang Convertible: Pricing starts at $29,300.
- Chevrolet Camaro Convertible: Pricing starts at $32,200.