01 Oct 2022

New car sales failing to power back to pre-Covid levels

New car sales failing to power back to pre-Covid levels

New car sales failing to power back to pre-Covid levels

New car sales appear to be stuck in neutral as they struggle to reach pre-Covid levels, according to new statistics from The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

SIMI has released the official 221 new vehicle registration figures for April.

New car registrations for April were up 10.3% (7,886) when compared to April 2021 (7,147). Registrations this year to date are up 4.7% (57,776) on the same period last year (55,177) but are 20.9% behind (73,030) that of pre-Covid levels.

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are down 31.8% (1,626) compared to April last year (2,383) and year to date are down 19.9% (10,992). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are down 36.1% (209) in comparison to April 2021 (327). Year to date HGV's are down 15.9% (1,030).

Used car imports for April (4,223) have seen a decrease of 25.6% on April 2021 (5,676). Year to date imports are down 34.2% (15,864) on 2021 (24,095).

For the month of April 1,286 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 590 in April 2021. So far this year 7,524 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 3,406 on the same period 2021.

Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with a combined market share now of 43.89%. Petrol continues to remain dominant with 27.23%, Diesel accounts for 26.40%, Hybrid 23.56%, Electric 13.02% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 7.31%.

Commenting on the new vehicle registrations Brian Cooke, Director General SIMI said: “While new car registrations in April saw a 10.3% increase on the same month last year and are up 4.7% year to date, overall registrations still remain 20.9% behind that of pre-COVID (2019) levels.

"The return to more normal new car sales levels is being hampered in the short term by both supply chain issues and the uncertain global political climate. Over the medium term both the high levels of vehicle taxation and the uncertainty over the continuation of electric vehicle supports has the potential to lead to the ongoing suppression of new vehicle demand. This will only make the ability to optimise the reduction in transport emissions more difficult.

"The increase in electric vehicle sales continues to be the one positive feature of the new car market, but this has only been possible due to the SEAI Grant supports for both cars and home charging. The continuation of these supports is simply vital if we want to get close to the EV targets outlined in the country’s Climate Action Plan.”

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