The motor industry, like every other one, is holding its breath and a watching brief as it monitors the likely impact of the coronavirus on business.
The most immediate effect could stem from a fall-off in tourism numbers.
That would translate into far fewer hire cars being registered.
With general registrations already well down on last year, it could be that an even more challenging period lies ahead.
The cancellation of the St Patrick's Day parades, especially in the major urban areas, is viewed as a potential signal that there will be fewer people visiting our shores for the next while.
A SIMI spokeswoman said on Monday: "It's difficult to say at present how the coronavirus will impact on sales, but anything that impacts on consumer confidence is not good for business.
"There is no direct evidence yet and it's hard to tell but we will be watching car-hire numbers from a tourism perspective (because) if tourism is down then car hire companies will be reluctant to register cars."
Another senior motor industry source spoke of the real-world difficulties envisaged if, for example, a dealership had to close for a while after detection of the coronavirus.
As of now, motoring is, like everyone and everything else, waiting to see what unfolds.
But from a buyer's perspective maybe it could be a case of buying the new car, which you've planned, sooner rather than later.
As the last weeks of the year's first trading quarter are upon us there may be keen deals to be done as dealers chase down target sales numbers for the biggest-selling period of the year.