THE number of new cars registered in Cork has fallen by almost 10%.
In the first three months of 2017, there were 9,902 cars registered in the county. This is down from 10,907 for the same period in 2016, a drop of 9.3%.
Nationally, the number of new car registrations was down -8%, light commercial vehicles down 11% and heavy vehicles down 3%.
The popularity of used cars, imported from the IK, continues with the number of imports rising significantly by 56%.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry said the new statistics highlights the challenging and uncertain year that the industry has faced. This is despite the Irish economic prospects looking better than at the beginning of the year.
Jim Power Economist and author of the review said: “Consumer behaviour remains relatively cautious. Personal expenditure on big-ticket items such as cars is being undermined by the ongoing upward pressure on the price of necessities such as motor and home insurance, private rents, private health insurance and housing."
"Based on sales so far in 2017, it is possible that registrations for the full year could be 10% down on 2016. This would imply a total of around 132,000, but it has to be stressed that the market is not very predictable at the moment.”
The review found that the cost of motoring in 2017 has seen an increase in petrol +14.3% and diesel prices +18.7%.
Alan Nolan of SIMI said Brexit continues to play a role in uncertainty. "2017 is still shaping up to be a good year, even if down on last year’s strong Q1 performance and while the market is difficult to predict this year, the second quarter of 2017 will hopefully give us a clearer picture.”
In line with the increased activity in used cars, figures from car sales website DoneDeal highlight an upturn in motor advertisements in 2017 with the volume of ads published in their Motor section increasing by 15.7% from the first quarter of 2016.