New car sales down 2.75% in July


New car sales are down 2.75% once again in July as the new 182 registrations are being sold. At the same time, the volume of used car imports from the UK continues to grow.

Last month, 26,944 n, down 2.75 per cent on the same month last year. Since the beginning of the year, there has been a total of 114,059 new cars sold, a drop of 4 per cent on the same seven-month period last year.

In contrast to the drop in new car sales, the number of used imports is continuing to rise. Last month, 8,096 used cars were imported into the Republic, bringing the total so far this year to 59,973 used cars entering the country, which is an 11.7 per cent increase on the same period last year.

The best-selling brand for new cars remains Volkswagen with 12,335 registrations for the year to date. Volkswagen are holding a market share of 10.8 per cent, ahead of their nearest competitors.

Top New Car Registrations by Brand:

  • Volkswagen – 12,335
  • Toyota – 11,192
  • Hyundai – 10,950,
  • Ford – 10,193
  • Nissan – 8,951.

Top Premium Brands:

For luxury cars at the premium end of the market, Audi tops the list. All three premium brands have recorded drops in sales of 9-13 per cent so far this year.

  • Audi – 4,407
  • Mercedes-Benz – 3,807  
  • BMW – 3,672

The best-selling models registered:

  • Hyundai Tucson – 3,801
  • Nissan Qashqai – 3,775
  • VW Golf – 3,413

SUVs and crossover vehicles are now dominating the new car market and account for two out of every five new cars sold in 2018. Despite the ongoing political backlash against diesel and talk of a rise in excise taxes on diesel fuel to bring them closer to those on petrol, it remains the favoured fuel choice of buyers, representing 54.4 per cent of new cars.

That being said, last year diesel accounted for 65 per cent of the market but this year there is a marked drop in consumer spend on diesel as hybrids continue to perform strongly now accounting for nearly 6 per cent of the market.

Electric car sales are also starting to take off, hitting 915 registrations to the end of July compared to 485 this time last year. This figure, though, equates to just 0.8 per cent of the total new car market.

Amongst the 59,973 used cars imported, the majority are aged between three and five years old by the time they arrive on Irish roads.

Volkswagen was the most popular marque, with 7,434 cars, ahead of Ford with 6,947, Audi with 5,243 and BMW with 4,648. Electric cars are also proving popular amongst importers, accounting for 383 registrations.