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January new car sales down 1.7 per cent


The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has just issued the official 171 car sales figures for January along with presenting their final SIMI/DoneDeal Quarterly Motor Industry Review of 2016. Alan Greene President of SIMI officially launched the report in Dublin this morning.

Car sales figures for the month of January show that 171 registrations are -1.7% (39,019) compared to January 2016 (39,722). Light Commercials are currently -2.4% (6,394) compared to January last year (6,555), while HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are -6.3% (456) for January in comparison to the same time last year (487).

The Report highlights the strong economic performance of the Motor Industry last year, with growth in registration figures seen across all counties along with the upbeat nature of business confidence and investment reflected in commercial vehicles despite a softening of the market towards the latter half of 2016.

Jim Power Economist and author of the Review said “Looking ahead to 2017, while the outlook for car sales is a bit more difficult to predict than last year, the projected growth in personal disposable incomes and the availability of credit provide solid support for car sales. However, the impact of Brexit and the increased volume in imported used cars are other issues that may impact on new car sales this year., Overall, though, numbers should be fairly close to last year with perhaps a slight decline of around 3% in new car sales in 2017, which would imply new car sales of around 142,000.”

Last year the Industry continued to generate strong returns for the Exchequer with a total VRT and VAT take of €1.5 billion (26.8% ahead of 2015) from new and used car sales alone.

SIMI also issued New Vehicle Registration data for January 2017 which show that 171 new car registrations have had a steady start as anticipated, finishing just -1.7% lower than the total for January last year.
Alan Greene SIMI President commented “The Motor Industry continues to be a strong contributor to employment with 40,800 people employed throughout Ireland. Last year our Industry contributed €1.5 Billion to the Exchequer in car sales alone. 2017 was always going to be a more cautious year for businesses, right across the economy, but we have seen a steady start in January and hopefully we are on track for another good year and continuation of a stable market during the rest of the year”.

The review outlined that the cost of motoring in 2016 which has seen an increase in in petrol +1.9 per cent and diesel prices +3.2 per cent (Dec 2016 vs Dec 2015), along with the average price of a new car has declined by 5.5 per cent (Dec 2016 vs Dec 2015). Motor insurance costs since 2013 have increased by a staggering +61.5 per cent, although there was a slight decrease in the last quarter of 2016 by -5.5 per cent, costs in December still remained at 8.9 per cent higher than a year earlier. Interestingly, the review report also claims that average C02 Emissions declined 30. per cent per cent since 2008.

Figures from DoneDeal, which claims to be Ireland’s most popular motoring site also highlight the sustained upturn in the motor industry in 2016 with the volume of ads published in their Motor section increasing by 9.3%.

January, 2017 – Key New Vehicle Sale Stats
• New car sales in January 2017 (39,019) v January 2016 (39,722), = -1.7%
• LCV sales in January 2017 (6,394) v 2016 (6,555), -2.4%
• HGV sales in January 2017 (456) v 2016 (487), -6.3%
• Top 5 selling car makes for January were Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Nissan
• Top 5 selling car models for January were: Hyundai Tucson, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf.