It’s more doom and gloom about new car figures I’m afraid. The new car market is down but the real story is the astronomical rise of used imports to Ireland. This is due to the weakness of sterling and to a lessor degree the greater availability of nearly new models. ‘Nused’ UK cars are so tempting that they give buyers in search of a bargain little choice – the savings can be in the thousands. Taking the ferry as opposed to spending over the odds in Ireland due to high car taxation is a massive issue for the industry and Irish government. The government seems to be indifferent on the issue as it still gets VRT taxes on nused cars but not as much as when a car is registered here first.
SIMI has issued a statement: Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that new car registrations for the month of August, were down 21% (5,754) when compared to (7,297) August 2016, while new cars registrations year to date are down 10% (124,711) on the same period last year (138,504).
The new Commercial vehicle sector has also seen a decrease with Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) registrations down -23% (1,380) on August 2016 (1,797) and year to date are down -14% (21,039). While new Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have declined -18% for the month of August (204) compared to the same month last year (250) and are down -14% (2,102) year to date.
Commenting on the figures SIMI Deputy Director General, Brian Cooke has called for no negative decisions in Budget 2018 stating: “Our Industry continues to experience a direct impact from Brexit in the market place. Used car imports for the month of August increased by 31% (8,451) while year to date have increased by 40% (62,161) and these numbers have a knock-on impact on used car values and new car sales volumes. The 1st of September marks the commencement of new EU Emissions testing regime (WLTP) for new cars which will bring more accurate information for consumers on emissions and fuel consumption.
Ahead of Budget 2018 our message to the decision makers is simple with this declining market there should be no negative taxation decision in relation to VRT, road tax, or fuel. The Industry is focused on offering alternative fuel solutions and the government can encourage customers to avail of these through a variety of incentives. Some car brands have already rolled out their own initiatives to encourage the removal of older vehicles with the purchase of new cleaner cars.”