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SIMI calls on government to address the issue of older UK imports


The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has called on the government to address the issue of UK imports coming in to the country, at a time when new car sales continue to slide.

SIMI has released its official new vehicle registration statistics, which show that the total new 192 car registrations for the month of July are down 8.4 per cent (24,685) when compared with July 2018 (26,958). New car registrations year to date are down eight per cent (105,441) on the same period last year (114,082).

Imported Used Cars for July saw an increase of 16.0 per cent (9,384) on the same month last year (8,093) and year to date imports are up 4.2 per cent (62,505) ahead of 2018 (59,972).

The top five car model’s year to date in order are the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Octavia and the Volkswagen Tiguan.

New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations are up 8.4 per cent (4,730) on July 2018 (4,363), however registrations year to date are down -4.5 per cent (20,056). While New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) decreased 33.3 per cent (250) in comparison to July 2018 (375) and year to date are up 5.5 per cent (2,050).

New electric vehicle registrations continue to grow month on month with a total of 2,689 EV cars registered so far this year.

Commenting on the registrations figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said: “The 192-registration period is generally a period of upturn for new vehicle sales however July has replicated the first six months of the year and proved a disappointing month for new cars, down over eight per cent on last year. There continues to be a surge in used car imports, the majority of which are coming from the UK. While Brexit is clearly a factor in this increase, Ireland’s taxation system overburdens new cars, causing motorists either to hang on to their older smokier cars or look to the UK for an older import. Over the last three years we have imported 150,000 cars that do not meet the latest EU emission standards, which in effect means Ireland has become the dumping ground for older cars the UK doesn’t want. This is not only bad news for Irish retailers and their employees, but also bad news for Ireland’s environment.”

Cooke added: “Budget 2020 represents a real opportunity for Government to redress the balance, by implementing taxation changes that encourage the sale of new cars and to focus any taxation increases on older used imports. The Irish Motor Industry is committed to playing its part in reducing emissions and the renewal of our national fleet with new and newer cars is key to achieving this. We cannot allow Ireland to continue as the UK’s dumping ground for older more environmentally damaging cars, which only improves their environmental performance at the expense of Ireland’s.”