Record car imports impact on sales

Record numbers of used car imports have contributed to an almost 7% decline in the number of new cars sold in Ireland, according to industry professionals.

Record car imports impact on sales

Record numbers of used car imports have contributed to an almost 7% decline in the number of new cars sold in Ireland, according to industry professionals.

There was a total of 117,100 new cars registered last year in Ireland, down 6.8% from the 125,671 registered in 2018.

According to an annual report issued by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), part of the issue is the record levels of used imports which, for the second consecutive year, exceeded 100,000.

In 2019, the number of used imports almost matched the number of new cars sold.

There were 113,926 used imports registered, an increase of 13.1% on the total for 2018 (100,755).

Elsewhere in the market, there was a slight decrease in the number of light commercial vehicles — down 0.4% to 25,350, while there was a 2.5% increase in the number of new heavy commercial vehicles registered.

The statistics issued by SIMI show the changing nature of the market, with the number of new electric cars sold almost trebling.

In 2018, there were 1,233 electric vehicles sold. This increased to 3,444 last year amid greater government focus on increasing the numbers of these vehicles on Irish roads as part of its climate strategy.

The Government has set the ambitious target of having 1m electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030.

SIMI has previously warned that this target is unrealistic.

Other stats of note show a changing market place in 2019. Diesel accounted for 47% of all new sales, petrol 41%, hybrid 9%, electric 3%, and plug-in hybrid 1%.

Brian Cooke, SIMI director general, described 2019 as “a disappointing year for new car sales in Ireland”.

“This decline in part is attributable to the record levels of used imports, which for a second consecutive year exceeded 100,000, having a dampening impact on new car sales,” Mr Cooke said.

“2020 marks the start of the new 201 sales period with the industry firmly focused on January and the first quarter, which is the key selling period.”

Car sales declined in every county in 2019.

The largest drop off came in Carlow, where sales fell by 18.99%, with 18 other counties also seeing a drop of larger than 10% from 2018 to 2019.

In Cork, sales declined by 8.24%. The smallest decline was in Dublin, where sales decreased by just 1.21% as more than 52,000 new vehicles were registered.

The Toyota Corolla was the biggest selling model in 2019, with the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai the next most popular models among consumers.

More in this section

Budget 2022 Logo

What impact will this  year's budget have on you and your business.

The Business Hub
Newsletter

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up