Official statistics released today by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that the total new car registrations for the year 2018 finished at 125,557, 4.4% down on 2017 (131,332).
The top five bestselling car brands in Ireland in 2018 were 1. Volkswagen 2. Toyota 3. Hyundai 4. Ford and 5. Nissan.
The Hyundai Tucson was the bestselling car in Ireland in 2018, followed by the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia.
Imported Used Cars reached an all time high of 100,755 for 2018, an increase of 7.81% on 2017 (93,454).
Other noteworthy stats show that new electric car registrations for 2018 increased with 1,233 registered in comparison to 622 in 2017. The diesel and petrol market share have moved closer, with diesel in 2018 accounting for 54% and petrol (including Petrol Hybrid) for 44%.
New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) finished at 25,561, recording an increase of 5.55% for the year in 2018, while New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) finished at 2,590, a slight decrease of 0.5% compared to 2017 (2,603).
Commenting on the figures SIMI Director General Designate, Brian Cooke said,“Despite the strong economic performance of Ireland last year, 2018 proved very challenging for new car sales. The drop in new car registrations is largely a result of Brexit and the associated weakness of Sterling. This has led to a surge in used car imports over the last 2 years, and 2018 saw used imports surpass the 100,000 mark for the first time. The Motor Industry is however as always forward looking, and with the new 191 sales period now commencing, January and the first quarter will be the key focus for dealers. In this context, the new car market is hugely competitive, with a wide choice of models and creative incentives, as well as the availability of a variety of financing options driving real value for new car customers. For consumers looking at the used car market, whether an Irish car or a used import, SIMI’s advice is to shop around and consider the real benefits of shopping in your local retailer, who not only provides value to the customer but also encourages economic activity locally.”