Friday 26 May 2017

Brakes put on the sales of new cars

Sales of new cars in February dropped by 21pc compared with the same period last year. Stock photo: PA
Sales of new cars in February dropped by 21pc compared with the same period last year. Stock photo: PA
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Brexit is beginning to affect the motor industry as far fewer people are buying a new car.

Sales of new cars in February dropped by 21pc compared with the same period last year.

Even a flurry of nearly 4,000 new-car registrations on the last day of the month failed to boost sales, according to official Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi) figures.

Most of the last-minute registrations were made by dealers or distributors to secure market share for the month. They will now be sold at a discount - with some experts saying they represent the possibility of good value for consumers. But there is no doubting the sharp contraction in the market after a few years of continuous growth.

Read more: Brexit threatens to undermine rapid growth of the main motor distributors in Ireland

Among the main reasons for the slowdown are the economic uncertainty over Brexit.

Another impact has come from the fall in Sterling against the euro that is fuelling rises in used-import registrations and tempting some buyers to opt for second hand rather than new, while many people have already 'caught up' after falling behind on new-car buying following the recession.

Overall registrations for the month came to 17,128 - down from 21,573 - while the total for the first two months is down 8.46pc.

The Simi figures also show how imports raced ahead and were up by more than 46pc (to 7,787) last month.

Irish Independent

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