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New 202 registration period can restore hope for motor industry

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released its official new vehicle statistics, which shows a year to date decline across the board, as expected due to Covid-19.

Brian Cooke, SIMI

SIMI director Brian Cooke said while this year has been so far difficult for the industry, the new 202 period, which commenced yesterday (July 1), “brings some hope for the industry by providing an opportunity to increase sales.”

SIMI’s official figures show new car registrations for the month of June declined 28.2 per cent (1,011) when compared to June 2019 (1,408). New car registrations year to date are down 34.5 per cent (52,891) on the same period last year (80,758).

Light commercials vehicles are down 24.1 per cent (568) compared to June last year (748) and year to date are down 30.9 per cent (10,579). HGV registrations are down 67.9 per cent (101) in comparison to June 2019 (315). Year to date HGV’s are down 32 per cent (1,224).

Used car imports for June (4,264) seen a decrease of 47.1 per cent on June 2019 (8,060). While year to date imports are down 57.1 per cent (22,789) on 2019 (53,126).

Commenting on the registration figures, Mr Cooke said: “Clearly 2020 has been a very difficult year to date, with new car registrations down 34.5 per cent year on year. The new 202-registration period brings some hope for the Industry by providing an opportunity to increase sales.

“Consumers can see already the hugely varied and attractive new car offers. While pre-orders and enquiries are showing some positive signs, the lack of car hire and the ongoing concerns surrounding Covid-19 will see continuing downward pressure on new car demand.”

Mr Cooke added: “Going forward, recovery for the sector will be extremely challenging with both new car and commercial vehicle registrations at recession levels.

“Extension of Government supports beyond the current expiry dates will play an important role across all sectors, while for the Motor Industry changes in VRT that encourage motorists to trade up to a lower emitting car have the potential not only to protect local employment, but can also encourage renewal of the national vehicle fleet, which will play an important role in reducing emissions from transport.

“VRT reductions could help kick-start the Industry, increase demand and increase the overall tax take.”