New car sales in November plunge to half of 2010 figure
Published 03/12/2011 | 05:00
NEW car sales last month plunged to half what they were for November 2010, figures show, amid deepening concerns that the proposed 2pc VAT hike will drive potential buyers away in the new year.
Sales have been slowing since the end of the scrappage scheme earlier this year, the SIMI figures show. But now there is concern that the 2pc increase in VAT will hit sales badly next year.
SIMI director general Alan Nolan said they had predicted that 70,000 new cars would be sold next year. But now the VAT hike has raised concerns that the figure won't be met.
"With the reported increases in VAT, road tax and fuel duties, we could easily be facing another year where employment in the industry is again negatively impacted," he said.
The association has called on the Government to hold off on the VAT rise until after the first quarter of next year, when over half of all new cars for the year are sold.