New car sales up dramatically in July
Sales up 164% on same month last year but still down 9% on year
Sales of new cars in July were up by 164% per cent compared to July 2012, according to figures released this morning by car history experts Motorcheck.ie,. It represents a staggering turnaround for the motor trade in Ireland, reversing the calamitous 73 per cent drop recorded in June and amounting to an increase of 24 per cent overall for the combined June-July period, compared to the same two months in 2012.
The success does, however, mask what is still a pretty poor year so far for car sales. In terms of year-to-date sales, the new car market is still 9 per cent behind the January to July total for 2012, with total sales up to the end of July running at 64,618. This time last year, 70,774 new cars had been sold or registered.
As yet it’s unclear exactly how many of the new 132 cars registered is attributable to bulk sales to car hire firms. There is also no indication as to whether or not the increase in sales, and what car dealers are anecdotally referring to as increased footfall in showrooms, can be sustained for the rest of the year.
The figures also contain implications for the Department of Finance, as 93 per cent of all the cars registered in July fell into Bands A and B for tax. While the rates within those bands were hiked (and made more complicated) in last year’s Budget has balanced the tax intake somewhat, buyers are still opting for lower emissions vehicles. Some 73 per cent of the new 132-registered cars sold last month were diesel-powered. The car makers’ continuing ability to innovate and reduce emissions well ahead of the predictions of the civil service is also a continuing headache for legislators.
Ford topped July’s sales chart, outselling rival Volkswagen by more than 200 units. The VW Golf hit back by taking the best-selling model prize, but only just - it outsold the Ford Focus by just one unit. The Golf remains the best-selling car for the year to date though, with the Nissan Qashqai in second place and the Focus in third.
According to Motorcheck.ie co-founder Shane Teskey: “The 132 number plate has certainly made its mark and introduced a significant boost for new car sales at a time when it is badly needed. Hopefully this trend will continue into 2014 and beyond”.