New data from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) shows that 7,313 new cars were registered in August 2016, and this figure is up 14% on August 2015 when 6,400 new cars were registered.
Meanwhile, total new car registrations for 2016 are still following the upward trend, up 19% (138,538) compared to the same period last year (116,195), and well on the way to breaking the 150,000 barrier predicted by year end.
Registrations of new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) are up 11% (1,815) on the same month last year (1,642) and up 22% (24,545) year to date.
Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations are also up 49% for the month of August 2016 (251) when compared to August last year (169), with registrations up 41% overall.
The data shows that Hyundai is still Ireland’s bestselling car brand, followed by Toyota and Volkswagen. The Hyundai Tucson was the top selling car in August but is also the bestselling car in Ireland to date in 2016, followed by the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
Commenting on the figures, Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said, “The Motor Industry has been working hard to deliver the continuing level of growth in what has been a noticeably more difficult market since June. As we move toward the end of the 3rd quarter of the year, the Industry remains focused on business still to be done, with strong offers still available for consumers. In contrast with the era before the two-period registration system was introduced, when sales were all but finished in the first quarter, the interest in new vehicle sales now tends to carry to the end of the third quarter, but obviously at a lower rate.
He also emphasises the importance of the Industry to the Exchequer and warns against any moves by the Government in the next Budget that could negatively impact the sector.
“We believe the Industry is still on course to deliver close to 150,000 new car sales by the end of the year, indeed new car sales have already generated €1.2 Billion for the Exchequer in VRT and VAT receipts. Our Industry currently employs over 42,000 people nationwide and it is crucial that the provisions in the forthcoming Budget for 2017 support rather than undermine the State’s tax revenues and employment across the sector. It is important that Budget 2017 contains measures that improve the position of both consumers and businesses. The potential for post-Brexit Sterling exchange rates to drain business away from the Irish domestic economy was highlighted by the increase of 76% in the number of imported used cars in July, so clearly the last thing we need at this stage is any further damaging tax increase in the forthcoming Budget. Suggestions of piece-meal increases on diesel fuel or indeed on motor tax being considered, at a time when soaring insurance costs are already impacting, would be damaging and extremely ill-conceived given that a new EU emissions regime is being rolled-out from next year which will require a major review of our current environmental taxation.
Our Industry, like the rest of the domestic economy, needs stability and as much certainty as is possible to support consumer and business confidence, especially given concerns regarding Brexit, in order to support a continuation of the recovery and progress of the past few years.”