NEW car sales were down 4% in Cork in January, with dealers blaming high rents and insurance costs for the 'cautious' consumer spending.
In Cork, 4,223 new cars were sold last month compared to 4,406 in January 2019.
Nationally, new car sales were down 3.5% when compared to the same month last year.
Diesel continues to remain the most popular engine type (42.1%) following by petrol (39.6), hybrid (13.6%) which gained a significant increase in market share along with electric (2.9%) and plug-in hybrid (1.8%).
New electric car registrations increased, with 898 registered in January 2020, compared to 799 January 2019.
Brian Cooke, Director General of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), said: “January is the most important selling month for new cars.
"In this regard, it is very disappointing to see a reduction in new car sales compared to January last year, the fourth consecutive year in which there has been a fall.
"On a more positive note, there has been a reduction of nearly 6% in the average CO2 emissions from new cars registered in January, underlining the Industry’s commitment to reducing emissions from new cars.
"The Industry is fully committed to further significant reductions in emissions in the years ahead.
"New cars ultimately displace the oldest most environmentally damaging cars in the national fleet and in order for Ireland to benefit fully from these technological improvements the new car market needs to be much stronger than it currently is and Government policy should support this.
"January also saw a significant decline in used imports, and while it may be too early to tell, the introduction of the NOx charge on January 1st appears to have reduced demand for older used imports.”