New car sales down by 12% in County Kildare

Motoring

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New car sales down by 12% in County Kildare

The Golf was the most popular new car

New car sales for the first nine months of this year are down by 12 per cent in Kildare when compared to the same period last year.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) last week issued the Q3 Motor Industry Review of 2017 in association with DoneDeal, along with the SIMI official October 172 registration statistics.

The review outlined that nationwide new car sales in for the first nine months of 2017 (totalled 128,578) declined by 10.2% when compared to new cars sold during the same period of 2016.

Used imports remain a significant feature of the market so far in 2017, with imports 37.7% (70,821) ahead of the first nine months of 2016. The SIMI/DoneDeal report highlights that despite the Irish economy performing strongly this year and the expectation of this positivity continuing into 2018, the Motor Industry is not by contrast mirroring this strong growth.

New cars sales every month this year have been lower than their equivalent month in 2016. During the first nine months of 2017, new car sales declined in every county, with Mayo experiencing the largest decline at 19.28%, while Dublin had the smallest decline of 5.4%. Brexit related uncertainty and the weakness of sterling are impacting negatively on the industry, with the increases in used imports impacting on the residual values of Irish new cars, which increases the cost to change for the consumer looking for a new or newer car.

Report author and economist Jim Power is forecasting that used imports are likely to reach 97,000 in 2017 an increase of 34.4% on 2016, while new car sales are to finish at around 131,650 a decline of 10.2% on last year.

“The surge in used imports from the UK effectively means that those prices are now setting prices for the domestic second-hand car stock, and this is making the cost of change to a new car more expensive and is also serving to undermine new car sales,” he said, “In normal circumstances, the positive economic backdrop would be expected to deliver growth of up to 20% in the new car market in 2018. However, the distortionary impact of sterling weakness and the associated surge in used imports from the UK will in all likelihood more than offset the positive economics.”

Brian Cooke of SIMI said: “In a recent survey our members confirmed Jim Power’s observation that Irish used car values have dropped, with members indicating a 15% reduction year on year, and indications are that this trend will continue. On the positive side this means that there is real value to be had for consumers looking for a used car; however, this is a doubled edged sword and it also means their used car is devalued on a trade in, thus impacting negatively on their cost to change”.