New car sales fell by 6.6% last year despite registration system

Diesel engines still dominate the new car market, making up 72.5%

Emblem of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI: Volkswagen remained the strongest brand on the Irish market with a 12.8 per cent market share

Emblem of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI: Volkswagen remained the strongest brand on the Irish market with a 12.8 per cent market share

Fri, Jan 3, 2014, 09:51

New car sales fell by 6.6 per cent last year to 74,303 registrations. Sales slipped from 79,574 in 2012, despite the introduction of a new six-month registration system at the behest of the motor trade.

Volkswagen remained the strongest brand on the Irish market with a 12.8 per cent market share, followed by Toyota with 10.32 per cent, Ford with 10.26 per cent, Hyundai with 7.85 per cent and Nissan with 7.16 per cent. Volkswagen’s Golf was also the best-selling model in 2013, while the firm’s sister brand Audi saw off stiff competition from BMW to take the top spot in the premium category, according to figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

Diesel engines

Diesel engines still dominate the new car market, making up 72.5 per cent, but there was a marginal rise in the number of petrol models sold last year, up from 18,562 in 2012 to 19,786 last year. Electric cars failed once more to spark any public interest with just 46 of the 74,303 new cars registered last year being electric-powered vehicles.

Amid signs of renewed business confidence, there was a growth in the sale of commercial vehicles, with van sales up 3 per cent to 11,076, while sales of heavy commercial vehicles, such as trucks, were up 27 per cent to 1,717.

Alan Nolan, SIMI’s director general said: “While the new car market is down on last year, it did stage a strong recovery in the 132 registration period between July and December after a very poor first six months. The commercial vehicle sales figures are also an indication of recovery in the sector.”