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Cascada shakes up convertible market by creating new niche sector

15th May 2013 Print
Vauxhall Cascada

By shaking up the convertible market with its new Cascada ‘rag top’, Vauxhall has filled a longstanding gap in the market, according to CAP Automotive – the independent car valuation experts.
The Vauxhall Cascada represents the first offering from a ‘street brand’ of a large family car canvas roof convertible since the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 in 1985, say CAP, who publish the latest new and used car information every day.
Britain’s love affair with the open-top car has prompted an explosion of coupe cabriolet choice over the past decade. But outside the expensive premium car sector, all new models in recent years have featured a hard folding top. This has left convertible car fans short of genuine choice, according to CAP.
By offering a true 4-seater ‘rag top’, Vauxhall has returned to the old fashioned spirit of open top motoring and distinguished itself as a unique player in the sector.
With a price tag around £8,000 cheaper than premium marque convertibles, the Cascada brings a new family size soft top within reach of those who may otherwise only be able to afford a used BMW 3 Series or Audi A4.
CAP Automotive’s Jeff Knight, who forecasts the future used values of today’s new cars, said: “Until now there has been no mid-size convertible built by a ‘street’ brand like Vauxhall for almost 30 years. All other rag-tops in the market come from prestige, premium or sub-premium brands.
“In recent years manufacturers have focused on the hard folding top coupe style, such as Ford Focus CC, Renault Megane CC and Peugeot 308 CC, so the Cascada flies in the face of that approach and creates a new and very small niche. It is very interesting to see Vauxhall playing in an area that nobody else is currently investigating.”
Based on the Astra GTC platform, but slightly enlarged, the Cascada is described by Knight as one of the best-engineered Vauxhall cars in recent years.
He said: “The British motorist has always had a love affair with the fabric roof convertible but it’s an area that has been neglected by the mainstream manufacturers for some time, as they focused on the folding tin-top.
“Because this is such a niche car, forecasting its value in the future used market is challenging. But the signs are good that used car buyers in three years’ time will view it favourably. It is one of the best-engineered Vauxhalls in recent times and the interior quality is excellent.
“As a driving car there are none of the squeaks or rattles that commonly come with a convertible and there is no scuttle shake. The four-seat configuration and availability of both petrol and diesel engines means the Cascada should appeal to potential buyers in its second life and we are conservatively forecasting residual values, at three years/60,000 miles of 33%”

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Vauxhall Cascada