JUST 5,000 new cars were sold in Cork in January, 2018, a drop of 350. UK imports are impacting the domestic market.
The decrease echoed the national figures, with car sales down an average of 5% countrywide.
Used imports increased 20% in January.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said 2017 had been “a significant and uncertain year, with monthly declines in new car registrations figures reflecting the substantial impact of Brexit”.
Looking ahead to 2018, they said economic factors look positive, but Brexit-related uncertainty would continue.
Used car imports increased by 29.5% in 2017, aided by the weakness in sterling. This also impacted on new-car sales volumes by dampening the residual value of Irish used cars.
“In normal circumstances, the positive economic backdrop would be expected to deliver growth of up to 10% in the new-car market in 2018,” Jim Power, economist, said. “However, the distortionary impact of sterling weakness, and the associated surge in used imports, will, in all likelihood, more than offset the positive economics.”
Michael Rochford, managing director of Motorcheck.ie, said: “The slight decrease in new car sales, again, in January, is largely in line with expectations. The staggering statistic is the continued high growth in used-car imports. Given that there was an increase of 67% in January, 2017, a further increase of 20%, in January, 2018, is massive.”
Diesel continues to be the biggest loser in new sales, with a 17.9% decrease in Cork for the period, while petrol car sales grew 8% and there was a 90% jump in sales of petrol electric vehicles.
Ford continues to be the most popular make sold in Cork, albeit with an 11% drop on last year. Renault, Hyundai, and Opel all had double-digit decreases in new car numbers in Cork, while Nissan was the biggest grower. Nissan sales were up 30%, from 192 last year to 252 in 2018. More than half of those were of the Qashqai model, which has seen growth of more than 55%.
The Ford Focus, Hyundai Tucson, and Ford Fiesta remain the three most popular car models in Cork. Grey remains far and away the most popular colour in Cork, accounting for 1,878 of new cars sold. This is followed by black, white/ivory, and red/maroon.
The SIMI/DoneDeal Report also highlighted a number of price decreases in the cost of motoring. The average price of a new car in 2017 was 2% lower than a year earlier, while the cost of motor insurance in December, 2017, was 10.9% lower than a year earlier. However, the cost of fuel increased, with petrol prices up 4.2%, and diesel prices up 3.6%, last year.