July cars sales down over 17pc

New car registrations for July were down 17.3 per cent when compared to July 2021, according to SIMI figures released today.

There were 21,902 new cars registrations last month, 11 per cent below pre-Covid levels in 2019. Registrations for the year to date are down 3.6 per cent (87,075) on the same period last year.

EVs sales were up in July, with 2,738 new electric vehicles registered compared to 1,895 in July 2021.

So far this year 11,182 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 6,225 on the same period in 2021, this is an increase of 79.6 per cent.

Electric vehicle, plug-in hybrids and hybrids continue to increase their market share, with a combined market share now of 40.9 per cent. Petrol continues to remain dominant with 29.29 per cent, diesel accounts for 27.51 per cent, hybrid 21.23 per cent, electric 12.84 per cent and plug-in electric hybrid 6.83 per cent.

The top five best selling EVs year to date are the VW ID.4, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia’s EV6, the VW ID.3, and Nissan’s Leaf. The Hyundai Tucson was the overall top selling model for the month of July.

Used car imports for July (4,206) have seen a decrease of 21.3 per cent on July of last year (5,344). Year to date imports are down 31.1 per cent (28,316) on 2021 (41,097).

Meanwhile, LCV sales last month were down 14.8 per cent (4,039) compared to July last year (4,740), and year to date are down 21.4 per cent (17,100). HGV registrations dropped 1.6 per cent (317) in comparison to July 2021 (322). Year to date HGV sales are down 9.4 per cent (1,675).

Commenting on the new vehicle registrations Brian Cooke, Director General of SIMI said: “Disappointingly July new car registrations, our second highest sales’ period, are down 17.3 per cent on July 2021. This means the new car market is now four per cent behind year to date and 17 per cent behind pre-Covid 2019.

“The electric vehicle segment continues to grow, both in quantum and as a proportion of the new car market, with an 80% year on year growth and a market share of 13 per cent.

“While it appears that there is appetite among consumers for both new and used cars, supply issues are hampering overall activity.

“The impact of this is another year of below par performance in the Irish new car market, which results in the Irish car fleet continuing to get older.”

Mr Cooke added: “The underlying new car market needs to grow significantly over the next few years if we are to optimise transport emission reductions. Government policies must contain the right measures, to support and encourage the change to lower and zero emitting vehicles.

“Reducing EV supports or increasing taxation will only act as a barrier to change and add to the cost of living. In this context, SIMI is asking the Government to continue its support for the EV project by extending EV supports at current levels out to 2025 and to resist any VRT increases in Budget 2023 which will only prove counterproductive and prevent us dealing with the legacy fleet in an effective manner that supports a just transition.”