Motor Industry Calls for Budget to avoid further destabilising Car Market

Official statistics released today by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that the total new car registrations for the month of September were down 17.9% (3,201) when compared to September 2017 (3,897). Registrations year to date are down 4.2% (123,099) on the same period last year (128,548).

New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) were down 12.0% (1,285) on September 2017 (1,460) however are up 5.65% (23,788) year to date. While New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have increase 40.44% for the month of September (191) when compared to the same month last year (136) and are up 4.61% (2,337) year to date.

Motor Industry Calls for Budget to avoid further destabilising Car Market Imported Used Cars have shown a slight decrease of 1.9% for the month of September 2018 (8,494) when compared to September 2017 (8,662) while year to date are 9.13% (77,277) ahead of 2017 (70,813).

Commenting on the figures SIMI Director General, Alan Nolan statedThe negative impact of Brexit is continuing to drive new car registrations ever lower while increasing the volume of used imports on foot of a low sterling exchange rate and the falling value of older diesel cars in the UK.”

He continued “We are also facing a further serious challenge with the rollout of the new WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) Emissions testing regime that is being phased in since 1st of September on all new cars. Under the new test regime, new cars will face an additional tax burden compared to used-imports as the stricter test will produce higher CO2 values but this only applies to new cars. Unless the issue is addressed in the Budget this could mean a VRT increase for motorists buying new cars, but not for those buying a used import, although the EU had stated that it was never intended that consumers should have to pay increased taxes as a result of an improved emissions test. If this is not addressed over the next two Budgets in line with the phasing-in of this new WLTP regime this is exactly what will happen at a time when the new car market is already disadvantaged relative to the already large volume of imports. SIMI has called on the Government to implement a small interim adjustment to the VRT Bands for 2019, while a more accurate adjustment can be made for 2020 when the full WLTP is due to be implanted and more much accurate data on the new test results will be available. We strongly believe that this is the only strategy that can protect State Revenues and the environment as well as supporting the viability of businesses and employment in the Irish Motor Industry.

The other key issue for the Industry as well as for the business sector and those who live in rural Ireland, is the need to avoid unnecessarily increasing diesel taxation, whether VRT, Road Tax or fuel excise duties. The move toward diesel since 2008 was encouraged by the State and the necessary migration away from the high level of diesel market share (70% in 2016) is already happening naturally (54% in 2018). Any discriminatory measures in relation to diesel are unnecessary, will make it more difficult for current diesel owners to trade up to a zero-emitting or lower emitting car and has the potential to further destabilise the car market. Given the importance of diesel cars for those living in remoter areas, any such negative moves would impact unnecessarily harshly on rural Ireland. Diesel is also the fuel of business, and increasing diesel tax will increase the cost of doing business in Ireland which will also be challenged by the fall-out from Brexit. Such policies should not be implemented without detailed examination of the potential for damaging, unplanned consequences.”

Stats in short:
• New car sales year to date (2018) 123,099 v (2017) 128,548 -4.2%
• New car sales total September (2018) 3,201 v (2017)3,897 -17.9%
• Light Commercial Vehicles sales year to date (2018) 23,788 v (2017) 22,515 +5.65%
• Light Commercial Vehicles sales total September (2018) 1,285 v (2017) 1,460 -11.69%
• Heavy Goods Vehicle total sales year to date (2018) 2,337 v (2017) 2,234 +4.61%
• Heavy Goods Vehicle sales total September (2018) 191 v (2017) 136 +40.44%
• Used Car Imports year to date (2018)77,277 v (2017) 70,813 +9.13%
• Used Car Imports total September(2018) 8,494 v (2017) 8,662 -1.9%
• New Electric Vehicles year to date (2018) 1,176 v (2017) 581 +102.41%
• New Electric Vehicles total September (2018) 99 v (2017) 48 +106.25%
• 5 Top Selling Car Brands Year to Date were: 1. Volkswagen 2. Toyota 3. Hyundai 4. Ford 5. Nissan
• 5 Top car model’s year to date were: 1. Nissan Qashqai 2.Hyundai Tucson 3. Ford Focus 4.Volkswagen Golf 5. Skoda Octavia
• Top Selling Car September: Ford Focus
• Table below shows new car registrations by county year to date (January-September 2018)
Click Here to download table pdf as per below

New Car Registrations by County January-September 2018
County 2018 Units 2017 Units % Change 2018 % Share 2017 % Share
Carlow 1528 1515 0.86 1.24 1.18
Cavan 1241 1468 -15.46 1.01 1.14
Clare 2632 2683 -1.9 2.14 2.09
Cork 14946 16258 -8.07 12.14 12.65
Donegal 2563 2886 -11.19 2.08 2.25
Dublin 51400 53444 -3.82 41.76 41.58
Galway 4654 4820 -3.44 3.78 3.75
Kerry 2628 2776 -5.33 2.13 2.16
Kildare 5210 5169 0.79 4.23 4.02
Kilkenny 2309 2355 -1.95 1.88 1.83
Laois 1484 1511 -1.79 1.21 1.18
Leitrim 479 540 -11.3 0.39 0.42
Limerick 4236 4388 -3.46 3.44 3.41
Longford 588 628 -6.37 0.48 0.49
Louth 2743 2719 0.88 2.23 2.12
Mayo 2140 2231 -4.08 1.74 1.74
Meath 3637 3829 -5.01 2.95 2.98
Monaghan 981 1035 -5.22 0.8 0.81
Offaly 1521 1535 -0.91 1.24 1.19
Roscommon 1036 1176 -11.9 0.84 0.91
Sligo 1068 1128 -5.32 0.87 0.88
Tipperary 3266 3495 -6.55 2.65 2.72
Waterford 3248 3376 -3.79 2.64 2.63
Westmeath 1763 1857 -5.06 1.43 1.44
Wexford 3139 3011 4.25 2.55 2.34
Wicklow 2659 2715 -2.06 2.16 2.11


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