Car sales in Westmeath down for first quarter

Car sales in Westmeath have decreased by 13.8 per cent in the first three months of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry’s (SIMI ) first Quarterly Motor Industry Review in association with DoneDeal.

The new report has highlighted that every county has seen a decrease in new cars sales in the first quarter.

There were 1,151 new cars registered in the first quarter this year compared with 1,335 for the first quarter last year. According to DoneDeal, some 4,524 car ads were placed on their site from Westmeath in the first three months of 2017 and the total value of the cars advertised was €65,179,487.

Alan Nolan SIMI commented: “Brexit continues to play a role in uncertainty. The decline in new car sales has been a nationwide trend in the first quarter of 2017 and the motor industry in Westmeath is no different. Used car imports increased by 56 per cent while LCV imports were up 53 per cent on the first quarter of 2016.

“Used car imports are primarily between three and five years old (49 per cent ), reflecting the shortage of secondhand cars during the registration period 2009 to 2013 and the over-six years age group (37 per cent ).

“While the number of imports nearly new are relatively low - 9 per cent up to two years old - overall the volume of imports is impacting even if indirectly on the new car market.

“2017 is still shaping up to be a good year even if down on last year’s strong Q1 performance, and while the market is difficult to predict this year, the second quarter of 2017 will hopefully give us a clearer picture.”

In line with the increased activity in used cars, figures from DoneDeal highlight an upturn in motor advertisements in 2017, with the volume of ads published in their motor section increasing by 15.7 per cent from the first quarter of 2016.

To view the full report visit www.SIMI.ie/quarterlyreview

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