Concern as car sales in Cork drop by 10% in April

Concern as car sales in Cork drop by 10% in April

CAR sales in Cork have dropped by more than 10% year-on-year.

Uncertainty is growing throughout the motor industry as sales drop off all over Ireland.

New vehicle registrations in April 2017 are down 24% in comparison to the same month last year, with almost every county in Ireland witnessing a decline.

It is the third straight month of decline in Cork, with sales down by 25% in comparison to April 2016.

Just 931 new vehicles were registered in Cork last month.

While 2016 proved to be a bumper year for the motor industry, 2017 has been somewhat of a disappointment to date.

Statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that just 10,833 new vehicles have been registered countywide this year, down from more than 12,000 in the same period last year.

Industry experts are remaining calm, though they have pointed to the high cost of motoring in Ireland as a contributory factor.

Rising insurance costs, coupled with tax and high fuel costs simply mean the price of a new car is out of reach for many consumers.

There are also concerns over Brexit throughout the domestic market, with used imports proving an attractive proposition for many consumers.

In the first four months of 2017, Cork has seen a 53% increase in the number of used imports in comparison to the same period last year, with more than 2,600 used imports registered to date.

Commenting on the figures, SIMI director Alan Nolan said there is uncertainty throughout the sector.

Mr Nolan said, "We commented that 2017 was proving to be unpredictable for the motor industry and the month of April appears to be reflecting this statement.

"Vehicle registrations for April show a decline in all sectors and across nearly all counties."

There has been a noted drop in commercial vehicle sales, typically a signal of how the economy is performing overall.

Light commercial vehicles are down 13% in the year to date, while heavy goods vehicles are also down 8% nationally.

There is no change when it comes to the most popular brands in the market.

Toyota remain top of the pile, with Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai all performing well.

The best-selling new model is the Hyundai Tucson, recording 3,381 registrations, ahead of the Nissan Qashqai with 3,035 and the Skoda Octavia with 2,596.

Audi tops the premium segment of the market with 3,421 registrations, ahead of Mercedes-Benz on 3,308. This means BMW has been relegated to third place with 3,193 new car sales.

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