Sales figures for September 2009 – SIMI

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The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released the official figures for new cars registered in September 2009 which at 2,259 are down 34.67% on September 2008 (3,458).  The year to date figure, at 55,136 is down 63.01% on the figure to end of September 2008 (149,059).

Commenting on the September registration figures, SIMI Financial Director, Brian Cooke said, “We have been running at 63% behind last year so 33% down in September might appear to be somewhat of an improvement but this is not actually the case. The September figure needs to be viewed in the context of the sudden deterioration that occurred in September 2008 which was 47% down on September 2007.  The year to date analysis shows new car sales to be still 63% down on 2008, a level which cannot sustain the current level of employment in the motor sector. Our industry has continued to hemorrhage jobs with the number of jobs lost now totaling more than 10,000 since January 2008*. These 10,000 job losses have affected not only those made unemployed but also their families and has impacted on every county in Ireland. The jobs lost in the industry are the equivalent of more than 20 times the number of jobs lost at Waterford Crystal, which was so highly publicised in the media.”  An recent economic study into the motor industry by economist Peter Bacon noted the knock-on effect this has on other key employments in the economy, noting: “Furthermore, the motor sector creates demand in other sectors, so this decline will impact these other sectors also. The main sectors affected are transport services, post and communications, insurance, real estate, computer services and other business services, all of which are service sectors where employment ratios tend to be high.”

Brian Cooke continued, “This period is a crucial time for our members as the Industry’s focus turns to the key new car buying peak period in January.  Employers in the sector have been struggling to carry thousands of jobs on a trickle of business in the hope that we can emerge into a better market environment but we are extremely worried about the outlook for January next as the forecast looks no better than this year’s volumes.  If, as anticipated, there is no pick-up in the first quarter next year then some 8,000 to 10,000 further jobs are at serious risk, unless urgent action is taken by the Government to stimulate the market. What is needed immediately is an announcement by the Government that a scrappage scheme will be introduced for January 2010. We have outlined before the many benefits of introducing a scrappage scheme; generating significant additional revenue for Government, at a time when it is much needed, reducing C02 emissions which will help us reach our Kyoto targets and helping to protect the jobs of the 35,000 people still employed in our industry. A scrappage scheme is a ‘no brainer’. It benefits the consumer, the Government the industry and most particularly thousands of employees in every town across the country. The UK has just announced that they are extending their scrappage scheme due to its success and Germany, which is officially out of recession, saw the scheme boost new car sales there by nearly 30%.  It is also clear that Car Scrappage schemes can act as a priming mechanism to restart consumer activity across the wider economy.  Cooke emphasised “It is imperative that a scrappage scheme is introduced in January 2010 without such an initiative current employment levels in the Industry will collapse.”

Imported Used Car registrations for September, at 3,428, were down 33.29% on the September 2008 (5,139) but for the year to date (January to September) at 42,285, imported used cars are 18.71% down on the same period last year (42,285).

Light Commercial Vehicle registrations for September 2009 (645) are down 35.05% on the same period last year (993), the year to date figure at 8,372 is 70.40% down on the first nine months of last year (28,285). Heavy Vehicle registrations are down 62.68% (78) compared to September 2008 (209) while they are down 71.84% (970) for the year to date compared to the same period in 2008 (3445).