05 Feb 2020 | 04.26 pm
New Car Sales Declined In January
Used car imports also slump
05 Feb 2020 | 04.26 pm
New car registrations for January 2020 were 3.5% down on the previous year, with 31,250 cars sold as against 32,370 in January 2019, though LCV sales increased.
Figures published by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry also showed a decline in used car imports — down 26.4% on the previous January’s total from just over 9,000 to 6,620.
SIMI welcomed this both on commercial and environmental grounds, pointing out once again that reducing emissions involves adding new, more efficient cars to the national stock rather than older models with higher emissions.
The report states: “The average CO2 emissions (108.33g/km) relating to a new car sold in January 2020 reduced by 5.8% on the comparison (115.04g/km) at the same time last year.”
Diesel remains the most popular engine type (42.1%), following by petrol (39.6%), hybrid (13.6%) — which gained a significant increase in market share — along with electric (2.9%) and plug-in hybrid (1.8%).
New electric car registrations increased, with 898 registered in January 2020 compared to 799 in January 2019.
Director general Brian Cooke said: “January is the most important selling month for new cars, and it is very disappointing to see a reduction in new car sales compared to January last year, the fourth consecutive year in which there has been a fall.
“On a more positive note, there has been a reduction of nearly 6% in the average CO2 emissions from new cars registered in January, underlining the Industry’s commitment to reducing emissions from new cars. The Industry is fully committed to further significant reductions in emissions in the years ahead.
“New cars ultimately displace the oldest, most environmentally damaging cars in the national fleet and in order for Ireland to benefit fully from these technology improvements the new car market needs to be much stronger than it currently is and government policy should support this.
“January also saw a significant decline in used imports, and while it may be too early to tell, the introduction of the NOx charge on January 1 appears to have reduced demand for older used imports.”
According to economist and report author Jim Power, consumer caution played a big part: “Other factors that could undermine the market is deep uncertainty and confusion about the environmental implications of different types of cars. These uncertainties are not helping new car sales. For 2020, 111,245 new car registrations are projected, which would represent a decline of 5% on the 2019 outturn,” he stated.
The top-selling car makes for January were Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Skoda, Ford, Renault, Nissan, Kia, Peugeot, and Seat. And the five top-selling models were the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Focus, Hyundai Kona, and Renault Clio.