The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) have released their official new vehicle statistics. 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. 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).
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. For the month of March 1,046 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 369 in March 2020. So far this year 2,831 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 1,650 on the same period 2020. Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 11%. Diesel now accounts for 36.58%, Petrol 32.68%, Hybrid 17.04%, Electric 5.87% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 5.51%. The highest selling vehicle in March was the Volkswagen ID.4.
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.”