NEW CAR sales in Wexford fell by almost 12 per cent between January and October compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures published by SIMI.
A total of 3,054 cars were sold in the county during the period, compared to 3,469 between January and October, 2016. The figures show that Wexford's share of the national market is virtually unchanged 2.38 per cent, compared to 2.34 per cent last year.
Nationally new cars were down 10.3 per cent to 130,504, compared to 145,468 during the same period last year, while October new sales were down 13.8 per cent.
At the same time, sales of used car imports surged 35.6 per cent between January and October this year, the sales driven by the weak value of Sterling against the Euro in the wake of continuing uncertaintly over Brexit.
The five top-selling brands were Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai and Nissan and top five selling models were the Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus.
The SIMI figures show petrol prices up 5.7 per cent and diesel prices up 5.3 per cent on September 2016.
The average price of a new car down 3.5 per cent on September 2016 and insurance costs are 14.3 per cent lower than September 2016 but average insurance costs in September were 44.8 per cent higher than in September 2013
The SIMI/DoneDeal report highlights that despite the Irish economy performing strongly this year and the expectation of this positivity continuing into 2018, the Motor Industry is not by contrast mirroring this strong growth.
New cars sales every month this year have been lower than their equivalent month in 2016. During the first nine months of 2017, new car sales declined in every county, with Mayo experiencing the largest decline at 19.28 per cent, while Dublin had the smallest decline of 5.4 per cent.
New car sales in Dublin, the largest market in the country, accounted for 41.63 per cent of the total new car market, the report showed.
Brexit related uncertainty and the weakness of sterling are impacting negatively on the Industry, with the increases in used imports impacting on the residual values of Irish new cars, which increases the cost to change for the consumer looking for a new or newer car.
In addition, with an increase in used imports of less than three years old, it is likely that some of these are displacing new car sales.
'The surge in used imports from the UK effectively means that those prices are now setting prices for the domestic second-hand car stock, and this is making the cost of change to a new car more expensive and is also serving to undermine new car sales,' said economist Jim Power.
'In normal circumstances, the positive economic backdrop would be expected to deliver growth of up to 20% in the new car market in 2018. However, the distortionary impact of sterling weakness and the associated surge in used imports from the UK will in all likelihood more than offset the positive economics.'
Mr Power is forecasting that used imports are likely to reach 97,000 in 2017 an increase of 34.4 per cent on 2016 while new car sales are to finish at around 131,650 a decline of 10.2% on last year.
This year has seen some rebalancing of fuel types in the market, the diesel share moving down from 70 per cent to 65 per cent and total hybrid and electric vehicles increasing from 2 per cent to 4 per cent in market share.