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New Car Sales Plummet


The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) released their official new vehicle registrations statistics for 2020. Total new car registrations for 2020, finished at 88,324 -25% down on 2019 (117,109). New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations in 2020 saw a decrease of 14.2% (21,732) compared to 2019 (25,336). While New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) saw a decrease of 22.3% (2,066) in comparison to 2019 (2,659).

Imported Used Cars saw 79,969 registrations in 2020 a decrease of 29.8% on 2019 (113,926). 4,013 new electric cars were registered in 2020 in comparison to 3,444 in 2019. Other stats of note show a changing market place in 2020. Diesel accounted for 43.29%, Petrol 36.91%, Hybrid 11.86%, Electric 4.54%, and Plug-In Hybrid 2.78%. Diesel remains the most popular engine type, while hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid gained market share in 2020.

Manual transmissions (59.8%) continue to be more popular despite a decline in market share with automatic transmissions (40.09%) continuing to gaining in popularity. The hatchback remains Ireland’s top selling car body type of 2020. While grey is the top selling colour and has continued to keep that title for the past five years.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting:
“Like many other sectors, 2020 proved to be a very difficult year for the Irish Motor Industry. New car sales, already hampered in recent years due to Brexit, were down a further 25% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now at recession levels. Looking to January, the key month for new car sales, the dramatic deterioration in the public health situation over the last few weeks and the implementation of Level 5 restrictions will make it another difficult period for the sector. Dealerships remain open for service, repair and testing, which are essential services, and the Industry will continue to play an important role in assisting emergency and essential services. Car sales will operate on a click and collect service with retailers increasing investment in their digital platforms to facilitate customers. In the current challenged business environment, it is vital that the current restrictions succeed in driving down the incidence of COVID so business and society can return to some level of normality.”