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2019 disappointing year for new car registrations

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has issued the total new vehicle registrations statistics for 2019. Total new car registrations for 2019 finished at 117,100, an unfortunate 6.8 per cent drop on 2018 (125,671).

New LCV registrations in 2019 saw a marginal decrease of 0.4 per cent (25,350) compared to 2018 (25,447). While new HGVs saw an increase of 2.5 per cent (2,654) in comparison to 2018 (2,590).

Imported used cars have reached record numbers for a second year. 113,926 used imports were registered, an increase of 13.1 per cent surpassing the total for 2018 (100,755).

3,444 new electric cars were registered in 2019 in comparison to 1,233 in 2018.

Other stats of note show a changing market place in 2019. Diesel accounted for 47 per cent, petrol 41 per cent, hybrid nine per cent, electric three per cent, and plug-in hybrid one per cent. Diesel remains the most popular engine type, while hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid gained market share in 2019.

Manual transmissions (67 per cent) continue to dominate with automatic transmissions (33 per cent) gaining in popularity. Automatic transmissions saw a 22 per cent increase in 2019 while manuals declined by 17 per cent.

The hatchback is Ireland’s top selling car body type of 2019. While grey remains the top selling colour and has continued to keep that title for the past four years.

Commenting on the new vehicle registrations figures, Brian Cooke, SIMI director general said: “2019 was a disappointing year for new car sales in Ireland. This decline is 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.

“2020 marks the start of the new 201 sales period with the Industry firmly focused on January and on the first quarter which is the key selling period. The new car market continues to be hugely competitive with generous incentives to buy a new car across all brands and all market segments.

“For consumers looking to change their car this year new or used, SIMI’s advice is to shop around and look to buy from your local dealer. They not only provide great value to the customer, but also support both employment and economic activity in their own communities.”