Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV goes on sale in Ireland in 2021
The Volkswagen ID.4 has arrived in Ireland

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released official new vehicle statistics for Ireland in the month of March.

New car registrations for March were up 54.3% (9,270) when compared to March 2020 (6,006), but down 44.45% (16,687) on March 2019.

Registrations year to date are down 3.23% (48,188) on 2020 (49,794), and down 24.85% on the same period in 2019 (64,126).

SIMI says to present a more accurate picture of the new vehicle registrations, it is important to compare registrations totals with the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID) when businesses were fully operational.

The bestselling car brands in Ireland in 2021 were 1. Toyota, 2. Volkswagen, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda, and 5. Ford.

The bestselling models were 1. Hyundai Tucson, 2. Toyota Corolla, 3. Toyota RAV 4, 4. Ford Focus and 5. Toyota Yaris.

The bestselling car in March was the new Volkswagen ID.4.

Diesel now accounts for 36.58% of the Irish new car market, petrol for 32.68%, hybrid for 17.04%, electric for 5.87% and plug-in electric hybrid for 5.51%.

1,046 new electric vehicles were registered in Ireland in March 2021 compared to 369 in March 2020. So far this year 2,831 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 1,650 in the same period in 2020.

Electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 11%.

Used car imports for March (5,842) have seen an increase of 25.61% on 2020 (4,651) and a decrease of 34.87% (8,970) on March 2019. Year to date imports are up 5.46% (18,420) on 2020 (17,466) and down 31.35% (26,832) on 2019.

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are up 110.2% (3,008) compared to March last year (1,431) and down 1.1% (3,042) for the same month in 2019. Year to date new LCVs are up 22.41% (11,346) on last year (9,269) and up just 2.63% (11,055) on 2019.

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 11.54% (319) in comparison to March 2020 (286) and 19.03% (268) March 2019. Year to date HGV’s are down 2.9% (882) on 2020 (908) and down 0.23% on 2019 (884).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting:
“With dealers still able to operate on a click and deliver basis, new car sales are only marginally back on last year. However, this does not tell the real story. The first quarter of each year is the key selling period for the Irish Motor Industry, and new car sales in Q1 when compared to the same period in pre-COVID 2019 are down 25%, or nearly 16,000 cars. This represents lost revenue to the sector in excess of €500 million and lost taxation to the Exchequer of €170 million. With the lockdown now extended into April, the Industry will struggle to make up this lost business. In this context and in light of dealers’ ability to transact in a low risk outdoor environment, it is vital that we do re-open at the start of May to allow dealers sell both new and used cars, and to protect local employment. On a more positive note, it is encouraging to see the increases in the sale of Electric Cars and PHEVs despite the restricted trading environment.”