THE motor industry has taken a massive hit during the recession, and figures released by the SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show a decline of 18% in new car sales in May.
For the year, sales are down by 8.7%.
The latest retail sales figures issued by the CSO show an annual reduction of 2.7% in the volume of retail sales in April, and the registration statistics for May indicate that there is no sign of this depressed sentiment abating.
Suzanne Sheridan, Press Officer of SIMI said that throughout the wider economy, five companies closed every day last month, while in their sector they have seen long established dealerships being forced to close recently due to a lack of business activity.
“With consumer sentiment falling month on month and precautionary saving increasing, the outlook for the next six months is very worrying, despite the real value and reduction in new car prices in recent years,”she added.
The SIMI predicts 75,000 new car sales this year. This compares to a market of nearly 90,000 last year and 151,000 in 2008.
“A ‘normal’ year for the motor industry is in the region of 130,000 new cars so the 55,000 shortfall this year is not sustainable for the industry in the medium term, nor is there any good news here for the Exchequer as this reduction impacts Government revenues by as much as €385m each year,” she added.