New car sales are very difficult during this lockdown period with salesrooms all but closed
Sales of new cars are very limited with showrooms closed right now
The already under pressure motor industry across County Tipperary has had further stress heaped upon it with the closure of forecourts during what is traditionally the busiest quarter of the sales year.
Many businesses remain open for repairs and servicing, but sales are extremely difficult at the present time - online sales are an option, but the majority of customers wish to actually sit in and test drive a car before purchasing it.
As expected sales will be hit and the used car market will especially suffer during this lockdown period - remember sales of new cars last year dropped considerably and that was on top of a drop in sales for the previous two years as well.
So, the industry is facing a very difficult period despite many having invested heavily to make their showrooms and forecourts Covid19 friendly.
According to SIMI, 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 for the past five years.
Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said: “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, 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.