Used car imports posing ‘serious threat’ to Irish market, Renault warns

Operating profit increased 42% last year at Irish arm of French car manufacturer

The Renault Megane is the company’s most popular car so far this year.

The Renault Megane is the company’s most popular car so far this year.

 

Used car imports from the UK are posing a “serious threat” to the Irish market with conditions expected to remain challenging until the final Brexit agreement is in place, Renault Ireland has warned.

The local arm of the French car manufacturer said early indications for 2017 show “a significant downward adjustment in the Irish market” after the UK decision to leave the EU which led to a drop in the value of sterling against the euro.

Recently filed accounts for the distributor of Renault and Dacia cars in Ireland show a 42 per cent increase in operating profit to €2.37 million in 2016 after a strong performance of the company’s core models - the Dacia Duster, Renault Kadjar, Captur and Clio.

Turnover for Renault Ireland Limited increased by over 16 per cent to €243 million as both the volume of spare parts and vehicles sold in Ireland increased.

The stock of cars and vans held by the group at year-end was valued at €3.7 million, down from the €10.8 million value the previous year. The amount owed by group undertakings increased substantially to €39.5 million from €21.3 million in 2015.

Meanwhile, wage spend for the group increased to €1.63 million from €1.4 million in 2015 as the number of employees increased by three to 27.

Market share

Figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that Renault sold 8,311 passenger cars between January and the start of November this year, giving the company a market share of 6.37 per cent.

While their market share increased from 5.75 per cent for the corresponding period in 2016, the number of cars sold dipped slightly from the total of 8,362 up to the start of November.

The company’s Dacia brand saw a significant fall in car sales from 4,339 in the first 10 months of 2016 to 3,616 so far this year.

The group’s most popular passenger cars this year included the Renault Megane, of which 2,294 were sold, and the Captur, of which 1,830 were sold. The Dacia Duster was the company’s third most popular vehicle, with 1,737 cars sold so far this year.

In the light commercial vehicle category, the company’s sales fell by 7.2 per cent in the first nine months of this year to 3,013 vehicles while its market share increased to 13.4 per cent. The same trend occurred in the heavy commercial vehicles category where the group sold 214 vehicles with a market share of 9.51 per cent.

The French car giant took direct control of the brand’s distribution and marketing at the end of 2008. Prior to that it was operated under a franchise agreement with Bill Cullen’s Glencullen Distribution Ltd, who had held the rights since 1986.

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