Irish new car sales down 4.35% this year

Impact of Brexit and weakness of sterling has seen an increase in the volume of used imports

The best-selling models in Ireland this year are the Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Focus. Photograph: PA Wire

New car sales are down 4.35 per cent so far this year, with 124,809 registrations up to the end of October.

New registrations fell 11.2 per cent in October, with just 1,725 new cars registered last month compared to 1,943 last year. The last three months of the year are traditionally poor for new car sales as buyers wait to register their new purchases in the new year.

Brian Cooke, director general designate of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), said: "It comes as no surprise that new car registrations are down again this month, in line with the trend in the market so far this year. While the domestic economic backdrop continues to be positive, as evidenced by the increase in commercial vehicle registrations this year, the impact of Brexit and the associated weakness of sterling has seen an increase in the volume of used imports, which has been to the detriment of the new car market."

Volkswagen is the best selling brand on the new car market this year, with 13,682 registrations, giving it a 10.9 per cent share of the market, ahead of Toyota with 11,978 registrations. Hyundai had 11,556, Ford had 11,230 and Nissan had 9,708.


At the premium end of the market Audi is in the lead with 4,909, followed by BMW with 4,204 and Mercedes Benz with 4,124.

Other notable sales figures are 116 new car registrations for Tesla so far this year, up from 47 last year, while Bentley recorded six sales in the Republic, compared to none last year. Tesla's sales are comprised of 82 Model S saloons and 34 Model X crossovers.

The best-selling models this year are the Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Focus.

Diesel sales

Despite the strong campaigns against diesel, it still represents 54.45 per cent of new car sales in the Republic, although the number of diesels registered is down 20 per cent on last year.

Sales of petrol-electric hybrids (including plug-ins) were 7,604, up nearly 60 per cent on last year, while fully electric new cars recorded sales of 1,211, nearly double what they were last year. There has been a further 600 fully electric used cars imported this year.

Used imports came to 86,418 up to the end of October, the majority aged between two and five years. The favoured brands to import are VW, Ford and Audi, with the VW Golf the most popular used import model at 4,926, followed by the Ford Focus with 4,711 and the BMW 5 Series with 2,852.

Diesel made up 75.4 per cent of the imports, while there were 1,004 hybrids re-registered here.

In the commercial vehicle market, sales are up for both light commercials and heavy goods vehicles. Light commercial sales are up 5.9 per cent this year to 24,779, while heavy goods vehicle sales are up 4.8 per cent to 2,460.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times