February figures reflect continuing downward sales trend

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With new car sales figures down 21% for the month of February compared to the same month last year, Michael Rochford of car history experts Motorcheck.ie says that while the extra trading day in February 2016 makes the slide in sales look more pronounced, there is no doubt that this year is not going to perform as well as 2016.

17,015 units were sold in the month just past compared to over 21,552 units for the same month in 2016. This puts the overall new car market for the year to date behind by 8.7% when compared to the first two months of 2016, with concerns beginning to grow within the motor trade as the month on month drop in sales is growing.

Comparing the first 28 days of February 2016 against the full month of February 2017 shows a 3.25% reduction compared to a 1.75% drop in the month of January. Traditionally however, there is a large push in new car registrations on the last day of the month as manufacturers look to hit targets.

“This month’s sales stats must be taken with a pinch a salt as there is a little distortion due to the leap year in 2016,” says Micheal, adding “There is a lot of uncertainty around due to Brexit, and with exchange rates in their current position used cars imports from the UK are growing massively. But with 5,000 new cars being registered on the last day of January and almost 4,000 on the last day of February the message to the public is that this is a great time to go new car shopping as dealers will want to unload these pre-registered vehicles to sustain the market.”

He points out that it’s not all doom and gloom. “Amazingly Mercedes-Benz has pushed its way into the top 10 selling manufacturers this year with a 79% growth in new car sales. The splurge on luxury vehicles is largely down to the 10% price reduction being offered by the brand, but it also shows that consumers will vote with their feet when there is perceived value”.

Toyota has regained the top spot from Hyundai, but the Korean manufacturer has continued to impress with the Hyundai Tucson remaining the best-selling vehicle in the country. The crossover SUV segment has grown in popularity over the past 3 years and the Hyundai Tucson has remained the best-selling vehicle in the country for 2 years now.
The commercial sector is down almost 27.5% in February with 2.5k new registrations compared to 3.4k in 2016.

Car Sales Highlights:

  • Car registrations for Feb 2017 decreased 21.1% with 17,015 units sold
  • Used cars imported for Feb 2017 increased 46.2% with 7,815 units sold
  • The top selling manufacturers were Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan
  • The top selling models were the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Skoda Octavia