Car industry predicting drop in sales despite January boost
THE Irish motor industry is expecting a slump in the sale of new cars this year despite increased sales last month.
Figures for January, released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) yesterday, showed that 21,313 new cars were sold. This represented an increase of 314, or 1.5pc, in sales compared with the same period last year.
January is crucial for the motor industry, with 50pc of new car sales occurring in the first quarter of the year.
However, SIMI said that it was cautious about the outlook for the full year and predicted a fall of around 15pc, which would mean total sales of around 75,000, for 2012.
It blamed the end of the government scrappage scheme last June and the potential for increase in taxation for the prediction.
New car sales have dropped from 186,000 in 2008 to just short of 90,000 last year.
A fall to 75,000 this year would represent a reduction of €100m in VRT and VAT to the Government.
Toyota was the top-selling make of new car in January but the Ford Focus was the best-selling model.
Diesel cars represented 71pc of sales, while only 27pc of those sold ran on petrol.
The most popular colour for a new car in the month was silver.