New car sales for October down 13.8% as used imports hit market
Diesel sales fall 17% as buyers consider alternatives
VW’s new Arteon: the German car brand remains the best-selling marque on the Irish new car market
Sales of new diesel-powered cars this year have fallen 16.6 per cent, compared to last year. Diesel now represents 65.27 per cent of the new car market compared to 70.2 per cent last year.
New car sales for October were down 13.8 per cent on last year, with total registrations of 1,946. So far this year 130,504 new cars have been registered, a fall of 10.3 per cent on the same period last year.
New figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi) show used imports are at 79,322 so far this year, a jump of 35.6 per cent.
According to Simi, the increase in used imports that are less than three years old mean it is likely that some of these are displacing new car sales.
In the lobby group’s latest market report, economist Jim Power is forecasting that used imports are likely to reach 97,000 in 2017 an increase of 34.4 per cent on 2016 while new car sales are to finish at around 131,650 a decline of 10.2 per cent on last year. The most popular brands of used imports this year are Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Toyota.
In the new car market the most popular brand for the year to date is Volkswagen with 13,676 registrations, followed by Toyota with 12,641, Ford with 12,199 and Hyundai with 11,841.
The best-selling new car model on the Irish market is the Hyundai Tucson, with 4,903 registrations, slightly ahead of the VW Golf with 4,283.
Electric and hybrids
As the market awaits buyer reaction to the recent budget changes to benefit-in-kind tax on full-electric vehicles, the sales figures show that 608 new electric cars have been registered this year. That’s up from just 381 for the same period last year, but it still only represents less than 0.5 per cent of the overall new car market. The best-selling electric car remains the Nissan Leaf, with 252 registrations, followed by the Hyundai Ioniq with 230, the Renault Zoe with 55 and the Tesla Model S with 32 and its Model X with 14.
There has been an evident growth in hybrid sales this year, with 4,402 registrations, up from 2,488 last year. Toyota dominates the hybrid market with 3,725 registrations, followed by its sister brand Lexus with 439. Kia is next with 206 followed by BMW with 159. Toyota’s C-HR crossover is the best-selling hybrid on the market.
Sales of light commercial vehicles – often regarded as a bellwether of general economic activity – are down 14.3 per cent so far this year, at 23,396. Ford’s Transit van is the best-selling model with 1,696, ahead of Volkswagen’s Caddy with 1,565 and the Renault Trafic with 1,425.