Slight drop in new car sales in 2018
Car sales in County Wicklow decreased by 1.63% in 2018, a slighter decrease than the national average of a 4.4%, something which has been largely attributed to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
In total, 2,723 new vehicles were registered in Wicklow over the course of 2018. The majority of these (955) were sold in January, with another sales bump occurring in July (538) with the arrival of the 182 plates.
February and March also remained strong for sales with 362 and 292 cars sold respectively, before taking a dip to 180 and 109 in April and May, and just 29 new cars were sold in June.
Towards the second half of the year, 132 cars were sold in August before sales dipped to 62 in September, 49 in October, 14 in November and just one sale in December.
While sales figures were higher than that the same month in 2017 for six months of the year (January, April, July, August, October and November), significant decreases in five months of the year - most notably a 31.11% drop in September - resulted in the 1.63% decrease overall.
Nationally, new electric car registrations for 2018 have increased with 1,233 registered in comparison to 622 in 2017. Diesel and petrol market shares have moved closer nationally, a trend reflected in the Garden County.
• In terms of brands, Volkswagen sold most cars in Wicklow (328), followed by Hyundai (325), Toyota (254), Nissan (251), Skoda (246), Kia (218), Ford (183), Peugeot (155), Audi (92), and Opel (86).
• The top selling vehicle in Wicklow was the Hyundai Tucson, which had 107 new registrations.
• Of the 2,723 new cars registered in Wicklow last year, 1,250 were petrol while 1,213 were diesel. One-hundred-and-eighty-one petrol electric cars were registered with 57 electric and 22 petrol/plug-in electric hybrids sold.
• Almost 37 per cent of the new cars sold in County Wicklow last year were of the jeep/SUV standard variety.
• Eight-hundred-and-eighty-six hatchbacks were sold in the county, representing almost 33% of the total. 32.46% of new cars registered were MPVs.
• The majority of cars registered in Wicklow (74.62%) were manual transmission.
• Grey was the preferred colour for the majority of Wicklow car buyers, with 38.16% choosing to buy in that colour. Just over 16% picked white or ivory, while 15.75% opted for black and 13.15% chose red/maroon.
Commenting on the figures, SIMI Director General Designate Brian Cooke said that, despite the challenges, the industry was looking ahead and concentrating on the new 191 sales period, adding that January and the first quarter of the year would be the key focus for dealers.
'In this context, the new car market is hugely competitive, with a wide choice of models and creative incentives, as well as the availability of a variety of financing options driving real value for new car customers.
'For consumers looking at the used car market, whether an Irish car or a used import, SIMI's advice is to shop around and consider the real benefits of shopping in your local retailer, who not only provide value to the customer but also encourage economic activity locally,' said Mr Cooke.