Revealed: Ireland's top 10 best selling cars in 2016
Only a handful of registrations separating the top three makers as Hyundai, Volkswagen and Toyota vie to reach pole position
Published 02/11/2016 | 02:30
A fascinating battle is being fought out by three marques for the right to claim to be the biggest seller of new cars on the Irish market.
Hyundai are slightly ahead of Volkswagen with Toyota a shade further behind, according to the latest available figures.
And just how close the race is can be gleaned from the accompanying table.
It will be most interesting to see how registrations go for this month, though outright sales will naturally be low in volume as most people wait for the 171-plate period in January.
But with so few registrations between the trio at the top, especially the first two brands, there could be an all-out push to claim the prestigious accolade.
When it comes to individual models, however, there is no doubt that the Hyundai Tucson is far and away the country's favourite car this year, with a lead of more than 2,400 registrations over the Volkswagen Golf.
The figures emerge from the latest statistics issued by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
They also show that there was a slowdown of sorts in buying new last month.
Indeed, overall, there has been a tailing-off in registrations for the 162-period (from July 1) compared with 161 (from January).
Used import numbers have increased significantly in the intervening months and look like they are playing some role in how new-car sales are going.
Another factor is that people are now tending to buy in two compact periods at the start of each registration plate.
As well as that, in the case of the October figures, there is a natural and traditional slowdown, with most buyers waiting for that 'new' plate - the 171-reg in January.
Registrations for October (2,243) fell by 316 (12pc) compared with 2,559 for the month last year.
Despite the ease in purchasing, registrations for the year to date have reached 145,433. That is an increase of 21,913 (18pc) on the corresponding period for last year (123,520).
Considering how few were buying new cars only a couple of years ago, these are large increases and volumes.
The slight sense of disappointment around them, however, is probably due to over-optimistic expectations and forecasts made following a whirlwind start to the year.
Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations (27,347) are running 4,373 (19pc) ahead of last year despite a slight drop (to 1,181, or -2pc) in October.
SIMI Director General Alan Nolan says it is only to be expected that registrations would taper off in the final quarter of the year.
He said the motor industry is already "moving its focus to the 2017 sales period, as can be seen and heard in current advertising campaigns".
He added: "However, it is fairly apparent that the 162 period at 7pc up on last year has seen a slowing-down in registrations relative to the 161 period, which finished 23pc up on the first six months of 2015."
It remains to be seen, he claimed, if that trend has been influenced by the Brexit fallout or a slowing of retail activity.
Top 10 Best Selling Cars
Top 10 Best Selling Brands:
15, 323 sold