Dip in sales compared to last January
Car sales in Wicklow fell 2.35 per cent in January, with 954 cars being sold compared to 977 in January 2016. Wicklow sales represent 2.44 per cent of the national market, compared to 2.46 per cent a year ago.
The figures are broadly in line with the national trend. A major surge in the second hand imports from the UK following the Brexit vote and the collapse in the value of sterling is viewed as a key factor in reducing the level of demand.
The top-selling passenger cars so far this year are the Hyundai Tucson, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Golf. Nationally, car sales for January show that 171 registrations are down 1.7 per cent (39,019) compared to January 2016 (39,722).
Light commercials are currently down 2.4 per cent (6,394) compared to January last year (6,555), while HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are down 6.3 per cent (456) in comparison to the same time last year (487).
The SIMI/DoneDeal Report highlights the strong economic performance of the Motor Industry last year, with growth in registration figures seen across all counties along with the upbeat nature of business confidence and investment reflected in commercial vehicles despite a softening of the market towards the latter half of 2016.
Jim Power, economist and author of the review said: 'Looking ahead to 2017, while the outlook for car sales is a bit more difficult to predict than last year, the projected growth in personal disposable incomes and the availability of credit provide solid support for car sales.
'However, the impact of Brexit and the increased volume in imported used cars are other issues that may impact on new car sales. Overall, though, numbers should be fairly close to last year with perhaps a slight decline of around three per cent in new car sales in 2017, which would imply new car sales of 142,000.'
Last year the industry continued to generate strong returns for the Exchequer with a total VRT and VAT take of €1.5 billion (26.8 per cent ahead of 2015) from new and used car sales alone.