SIMI the body that represents the motor trade in ireland has released sales figures for January. New cars registrations are, not surprisingly, down 17.8% (25,191) when compared to pre Covid January 2020 (30,650). Light Commercial vehicles (LCV) are down 10.9% (5,033) compared to January last year (5,647). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations also showing a decrease of 4.5% (340) in comparison to January 2020 (356). Used car imports seen a 3.1% (6,824) increase in January when compared with January 2020 (6,622). Despite a decline in market share, Diesel continues to remain the most popular engine type in 2021 (35.85%), followed by petrol (34.70%), while hybrid (19.12%) gained a significant increase (ed. as most hybrids are petrol – petrol is the dominant fuel), along with growth of plug-in hybrid (4.23%) and electric (3.89%) market share.
New electric car registrations increased with 980 registered in January 2021, compared to 891 January 2020.
Commenting on the new vehicle registrations figures Tom Cullen SIMI Deputy Director General said: “New car registrations are down 17% on January 2020, the fifth consecutive January that new car sales have fallen, although this year’s registrations must be seen in the context of the pandemic and associated restrictions. Strong pre-orders coming into the New Year and the ability of the Industry to provide both on-line shopping and a click and deliver service, has mitigated somewhat against the full impact of the pandemic in January. On a positive note, despite the fall in new cars sales both Electric Vehicles and PHEVS are ahead of last January, and with more models and supply coming on stream as the year progresses, it is anticipated that this growth will continue. It is vital for society and business that the current restrictions succeed in driving down the incidence of COVID and with the delivery of COVID vaccines, we hope that business can return to more normal levels once the health situation allows. In the meantime, to protect long term employment and local businesses, it is essential that the current Government business and employee supports remain in place.”
Hyundai has taken the top selling model spot from the Toyota Corolla with its Tucson (diesel and hybrid engines). Stephen Gleeson Managing Director at Hyundai commented “We are delighted to see the Tucson back at number one in the Market, key to its success is its striking new design but also the ability of our dealer network to give honest advice to consumers as to the correct engine type for them. Our overall Market share performance (2731 units – 10.84% of the market) is also satisfying given we are still waiting on deliveries of the all-New Santa Fe 7 seat PHEV, as well as supplies of the all new i20.” Hyundai Ireland also confirmed its dealer network is providing a full ‘Click and Deliver’ sales service.
Toyota has taken the lead as Ireland’s best-selling car brand with a 15% market share in January 2021. Commenting on the January market numbers, Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland, said, “The preference for self-charging hybrids continues to go from strength to strength. Considering overall market penetration for hybrid cars was at 5.5% just three years ago, the consumer mindset shift towards more sustainable motoring is really gathering pace now and the tide is starting to turn against higher emitting vehicles like diesel… The Government’s introduction of the new CO2 related tax bands does seem to be having the right impact though, with 82% of all new car sales in January qualifying within the A band. We at Toyota are proud to say that over 99% of all the cars we sold in 2021 to date have been under 111grams/km. As the lowest CO2 mass market brand in Ireland, Toyota hybrid vehicles sold in 2019 and 2020 will have saved over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 from the environment over their lifetime, compared to petrol and diesel cars.