New 191 registrations further dampened by Brexit

Car sales figures for January show 191 registrations are down 12.6 per cent (32,374 ) compared to January 2018 (37,023 ).

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI ) has issued the official 191 new vehicle registration figures for the important sales month of January.

It is a similar story for Light Commercials, which are down 16.3 per cent (5,650 ) compared to January last year (6,753 ), and HCV (Heavy Commercial Vehicle ) registrations are also down 11.4 per cent (356 ) compared to last January (402 ).

In addition, the final SIMI quarterly motor industry review of 2018 highlights Ireland’s strong economic performance last year, but the motor industry faced a significant and uncertain year with monthly declines in new car registrations figures, reflecting the substantial impact of Brexit.

Used car imports in 2018 reached the highest level on record at 100,755 accounting for 44.5 per cent of the total car market in 2018. Used car imports for January 2019 (9,006 ) have seen a slight decrease 0.6 per cent on January 2018 (9,061 ).

Sterling weakness and Brexit related uncertainty were the key drivers in 2018 and have continued to be a characteristic of January 2019. The dampening of new sales volumes has affected both the car and commercial sectors, and until March 29, this deep uncertainty will continue.

Electric vehicle registrations have increased significantly with 811 registrations in January 2019, which is more than for the whole of 2017 and more than 60 per cent of the total for the whole of last year.

While electric vehicle numbers are still relatively low, they are showing strong growth, having increased from less than one per cent of the market last year to 2.6 per cent market share in January this year.

Diesel continues to be the market leader in 2019 with a 49 per cent share despite an eight per cent decline on the previous January 2018. Petrol has grown to 40 per cent and hybrids currently account for seven per cent of the new car market.

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