Car sales looking to rebound after tough start to year

Director-General of SIMI Brian Cooke
By Joel Slattery

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) are hoping for an uptick in car sales in the second half of the year after a dramatic drop brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Their latest figures show that new car registrations for the month of June declined 28.2% on 2019's numbers.

Since January, registrations down 34.5% on the year to date with 52,891 new vehicles registered - compared to over 80,000 in the first half of 2019.

The stark figures show light commercial vehicles (LCV) registrations are down nearly 31% on the year to date compared to 2019, while heavy goods vehicles (HGV) are down 32% year-on-year. Used car imports are down 57% are the industry battles to recover as the economy prepares to open up in the coming weeks.

However, there is hope for the industry as July 1 marks the start of the new registration period.

“Clearly 2020 has been a very difficult year to date, with new car registrations down 34.5% year-on-year," outlined Brian Cooke, SIMI director-general.

"The new 202-registration period commences today, which brings some hope for the industry by providing an opportunity to increase sales.

"Consumers can see already the hugely varied and attractive new car offers. While pre-orders and inquiries are showing some positive signs, the lack of car hire and the ongoing concerns surrounding Covid-19 will see continuing downward pressure on new car demand," he added.

"Going forward, recovery for the sector will be extremely challenging with both new car and commercial vehicle registrations at recession levels."