New car sales plummet again in May
New car sales plummet again in May

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released official new vehicle statistics for Ireland in May 2020 that show the continuing effect of Coronavirus on new car sales in this country.

The data shows that new car registrations for May declined 72.3% (1,751) when compared to May 2019 (6,320). This is not surprising considering the fact that retailer showrooms were closed for nearly 3 weeks in May. Dealerships opened again for sales, service and repairs on the 18th of May.

Registrations year to date are down 34.6% (51,904) on the same period last year (79,350).

The bestselling brands so far in Ireland in 2020 are: 1. Toyota, 2. Volkswagen, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda, and 5. Ford. The top selling models this year so far are: 1. Toyota Corolla, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Volkswagen Tiguan, 4. Ford Focus, and 5. Hyundai Kona.

Diesel remains the most prominent engine type on sale in 2020, accounting for 44.08% of the market. Petrol follows, accounting for 37.57%, Hybrid for 12.31%, Electric  for 3.57% and Plug-In Hybrid for 2.19%.

The commercial vehicle sector was also impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Light commercial vehicles (LCV) were down 70.3% (510) compared to May last year (1,717), and year to date are down 31.3% (10,016). Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations are down 69.8% (90) in comparison to May 2019 (298). Year to date HGVs are down 23.2% (1141).

Used car imports for May (857) seen a decrease of 90.8% on May 2019 (9,347). While year to date imports are down 58.9% (18,525) on 2019 (45,066).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, commenting on the market figures, said:

“Our Industry is grateful to be open for business again. SIMI members continue to implement social distancing and sanitisation measures, in accordance with both Industry and State guidelines, that will protect both their employees and customers against the spread of COVID-19. With new car sales for the month over 70% down on May last year and with both the dire economic outlook for the rest of the year and no hire drive activity, it is clearly going to be a very challenging period for the Industry.

In the short term the State should expedite the safe re-opening of NCT, while also re-instate the Government Grants for Company Electric Vehicle purchases. The key July registration period is fast approaching, and the Motor Industry has commenced promotional activity with a variety of attractive new car offers already announced in order to optimise sales. In addition, strong Government support in the coming weeks, months and year will be vital in helping the Industry support the nearly 50,000 people in employment.”

We have taken a closer look at the new hygiene and safety measures in dealerships in this recent article – Is it safe to buy a car now?

Check out all the latest deals and 202 offers in this article.