Car and Light Commercial sales down in face of Brexit uncertainty and rising UK second-hand imports
Ford cars and commercial vehicles have taken the top spot in the January sales market this year. According to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), car sales during the month were 32,374 units and the tally for light commercials was 5,650 vehicles sold. The January 2019 figures show a decline of 12.8 percent in car sales and an even more pronounced drop of 15.8 percent in commercial vehicle sales.
In the combined new vehicle market for January 2019, Ford sold the highest number of vehicles with a total of 4,362 units (3,156 cars and 1,206 vans) ahead of VW with a combined total of 4,311 new cars and vans and Hyundai in third place with a combined total of 3,841.
Commenting on the January vehicle market, Ford Ireland Chairman and Managing Director, Ciarán McMahon, said: “We are delighted that Ford vehicles were the number one choice in the January market, albeit, in a declining market that is significantly down by 13.1 percent. I have no doubt that drop in sales of new cars and vans versus January 2018 is a direct result of the uncertainty around the impact of Brexit and the continuing increase in imports of second-hand vehicles from the UK. Aside from the millions of euro in lost revenue for the state from the drop in new vehicle sales, the rising level of UK imports is not all good news for Irish consumers or the country as a whole. We would echo calls for the government to do something to prevent Ireland becoming a dumping ground for the UK’s older, dirtier diesel models that are being imported in high numbers with no restriction.”
Reflecting the increasing popularity of SUVs among Ireland’s car-buyers, the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai were the two top-selling models during January. However, as evidence that Irish motorists have not fully turned their backs on the ‘traditional’ saloon or hatchback, the new Ford Focus was the third top-selling model with 1,046 units sold. And in another indication that traditional segments are holding their own, the small car (e.g. Ford Fiesta) segment actually saw an increase from 16.3 percent of the market to 17.3 percent this January. Indeed, the ever popular Ford Fiesta ensured Ford’s second placement in the top ten models for the month with a sales tally of 782 units (ninth position).
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