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New Car Sales reach highest level in 8 years


The latest figures for new cars registered to the end of 2016, just released by Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), show the market is up 17.52 per cent year on year.

The industry had correctly estimated total sales of between 140,000-150,000 units at the start of 2016, finishing with 146,672 new passenger vehicles sold during the year.

The increase follows two consecutive years of 30 per cent annual growth, putting the total sales figures for new cars back to 2008 levels.

However, the industry is being a little more cautious with its predictions this year with most commentators estimating a levelling off or even slight decrease. Certainly, nobody is predicting that 2017 new car sales will reach the heady heights of 2007’s 186,000 units. The SIMI is saying: “As we move into 2017 and the new 171 registration period the Industry is anticipating a continuation of the strong performance seen during 2016 and is projecting similar registration numbers to last year.”

New car sales gained strongly in the first two months of 2016, with March and April still very good sales months. There was a fall in May of 5.8 per cent but the new car market kicked on again with good gains in June, July and August, before the tide turned slightly in September. This falls in October and November were 11 and 18 per cent respectively before the battle for top position boosted sales in December with registrations up 45% (499) compared with the same month in 2015 (344).

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) for 2016 recorded an increase of 18.3% (28,180) when compared to 2015 (23,829). Despite the month of December registering a decrease of -23% (179) in comparison to December 2015 (235). Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations in 2016 were up 31.3% (2,873) on the previous year (2,188).

The SIMI says: “Commercial vehicle registrations, which perhaps best reflect the level of activity in the economy, were also significantly up on 2015, with Light Commercial Vehicle registrations finishing 18.3% up and Heavy Commercial Vehicle Registrations 31.3% ahead of last year”.

Alan Nolan, Director General, SIMI, told us “New car registrations for 2016 finished at 146,600 for the full year, making it the highest year for new car registrations since 2008. Despite some slowing in the second half of the year, the numbers are in line with expectations at the start of 2016 and underline the continued growth and buoyancy in the economy.

Used car imports have also seen growth, partly due to the strong economic recovery, but also driven by short supply of 2009-2013 Irish used cars and the strengthening of the Euro against sterling following the Brexit Referendum. Almost 50 per cent of imported used cars were in this age profile, between three and five years old, and almost another 40% are over six years old” he said.
Separately, commenting on the figures, Michael Rochford, Managing Director of Motorcheck.ie told us “it’s been another very productive year for the Irish motor trade with comparable proportional increases in both the new car and light commercial vehicle sectors.  But with the advent of Brexit and the weakening of Sterling, Used Car Imports grew significantly in the second half of 2016 with each of the last 5 months of 2016 posting increases in excess of 75 per cent on the previous year and finishing the year with just over a 50% increase in imports or 72.5k imports in total.”

“That’s an increase of 24,249 additional Used Cars imported into Ireland over and above last year. There is evidence to suggest that a lot of people who may have been waiting to purchase a new car in 2017 took advantage of the drop in sterling and opted to import a nearly-new vehicle at the end of 2016 instead” he continued.

With Used Cars imported into Ireland during 2016 reaching the highest levels we’ve seen in 10 years consumers are advised to be extra vigilant when making a purchase and ensure they perform a check to ensure the vehicle has not been clocked, written-off or still under finance.

Toyota comes from behind to take top slot in last two days of the year

Meanwhile in New Car Sales for 2016 Toyota emerged as the top selling manufacturer just edging ahead of Hyundai, with Volkswagen in third.

Motorcheck.ie is reporting that on the last two days of the year with pre-registrations of the brand new Toyota C-HR reaching 160 Units for December, swong the title for Toyota.

Hyundai had another great year with an increase of 34 per cent in sales and that was only bettered in the Top 10 (in percentage gain terms) by Renault.

The Hyundai Tucson became Ireland’s top selling vehicle overall, ahead of its nearest rival, the Volkswagen Golf.

Volkswagen was in a close third place despite the emissions scandal earlier in the year. However its gains on 2015 paled in comparison to the other manufacturers in the top 4 with a low increase in market share in low single digit percentage terms on last year whilst the others all posted increases in double digit percentages.

New Car Sales Highlights:

146,385 New Cars Registered in 2016 (a 17.4% increase).
Top 5 Selling Makes: 1. Toyota, 2. Hyundai, 3. Volkswagen, 4. Ford, & 5. Nissan.
Top 5 Selling Models: Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia, & Nissan Qashqai

New Commercial Vehicle/Van Highlights:
28,180 New LCV’s Registered in 2016 (a 18.3% increase).
Top 5 Selling Makes: Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, Toyota, & Peugeot.
Top 5 Selling Models: Ford Transit, Ford Transit Connect, Volkswagen Caddy, Renault Trafic, & Peugeot Partner.

Used Imports Highlights:

72,587 Used Imports Registered in 2016 (a 50% increase)
Top 5 Makes Imported: Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, Audi, & Vauxhall (that’s Opel here).
Top 5 Models Imported: Ford Focus, VW Golf, VW Passat, Audi A4, & Vauxhall Insignia.

Top 5 Models Imported: Ford Focus, VW Golf, VW Passat, Audi A4, & Vauxhall Insignia.

Passenger Cars by County Year to Date
County 2016 Units 2015 Units % Change 2016 % Share 2015 % Share
Carlow 1761 1473 19.55% 1.2% 1.18%
Cavan 1606 1391 15.46% 1.09% 1.11%
Clare 3150 2670 17.98% 2.15% 2.14%
Cork 18809 15289 23.02% 12.82% 12.25%
Donegal 3525 2993 17.77% 2.4% 2.4%
Dublin 58314 50754 14.9% 39.76% 40.67%
Galway 5843 5095 14.68% 3.98% 4.08%
Kerry 3228 2696 19.73% 2.2% 2.16%
Kildare 6045 5092 18.72% 4.12% 4.08%
Kilkenny 2822 2361 19.53% 1.92% 1.89%
Laois 1774 1466 21.01% 1.21% 1.17%
Leitrim 634 567 11.82% 0.43% 0.45%
Limerick 5199 4339 19.82% 3.54% 3.48%
Longford 727 636 14.31% 0.5% 0.51%
Louth 3153 2779 13.46% 2.15% 2.23%
Mayo 2819 2413 16.83% 1.92% 1.93%
Meath 4653 3739 24.45% 3.17% 3%
Monaghan 1240 1065 16.43% 0.85% 0.85%
Offaly 1883 1538 22.43% 1.28% 1.23%
Roscommon 1420 1088 30.51% 0.97% 0.87%
Sligo 1319 1128 16.93% 0.9% 0.9%
Tipperary 4147 3539 17.18% 2.83% 2.84%
Waterford 3690 2999 23.04% 2.52% 2.4%
Westmeath 2210 1922 14.98% 1.51% 1.54%
Wexford 3484 2962 17.62% 2.38% 2.37%
Wicklow 3217 2810 14.48% 2.19% 2.25%

 

Total Passenger Car Sales
+% Change 2016 2015 0.9%
1 Toyota 18.47% 15530 13109 2.84%
2 Hyundai 34.40% 15442 11484 2.4%
3 Volkswagen 1.15% 15411 15236 1.54%
4 Ford 21.70% 14603 12052 2.37%
5 Nissan 6.14% 11885 11198 2.25%