Quick off the mark for 132 – now for the real test of buyer confidence
EVEN by Irish standards it was a blistering start to the 132-registration period with some marques out of the blocks like Olympic sprinters.
But the business of selling and buying cars is more like a marathon so we'll have to wait and see if it keeps going or runs out of steam.
By this time next week we should have a far clearer picture of what is really going on out there because we know a significant proportion of the 1,927 cars registered on Day 1 had been pre-ordered. There was not a sudden stampede to dealerships.
Still, the 1,927 registrations represents more than 40pc of the total for July last year.
People will browse between now and the weekend and that is going to be the critical decision making time.
There are grounds for optimism, of course. Both Alan Nolan of the SIMI and Shane Teskey of Motorcheck.ie strike upbeat but realistic tones.
SIMI figures make for optimistic reading. For example, there were more cars sold on July 1 this year than for the first 18 days of the same month last year. On the first working day of July last year just 140 new cars were sold compared with the 1,927 registered on Day 1 of 132.
From a consumer's point of view the same old dilemma remains: buy now or wait for a 141 in January?
There are 'special deals' out there now.
There is no doubt about that. Will there be as good a deal on your family car in January? It is impossible to say but there are always deals and next January will be competitive too,
Will you lose out on trade-in values in three years' time because your motor has a 132-reg? It is all impossible to nail down at this early stage. Some senior industry people insist you will benefit; some observers are not sure.
One thing often overlooked is that the value of your current car, if you are trading in, is likely to have dropped another bit by January or February – technically it will be a year older. That is why some marques are pushing their 'special' trade-in deals.
Either way, this day next week, we should see if 132 is likely to hold its ground or run out of puff as it goes from sprint to long distance.
Out of the blocks
Make Sales Share (%)
FORD 337 17.44
HYUNDAI 236 12.22
NISSAN 235 12.16
VW 231 11.96
TOYOTA 143 7.4
RENAULT 91 4.71
OPEL 83 4.3
KIA 71 3.67
SUZUKI 68 3.52
SKODA 55 2.85