Car sales fall for the first half of 2017 as imports continue to rise
The car trade in Ireland will be hoping for a significant boost from the July registration plate change, as sales of new models dipped again in June. Figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that 91,189 new cars have been sold so far this year, a drop, compared to 2016, of 10 per cent. Sales in June were down by 14 per cent compared to the same month last year.
Those figures are set against the background of increasing imports of cars from the UK, which continue to be driven by a weakened Sterling exchange rate. According to industry watchers motorcheck.ie, 13,381 cars have been imported from the UK so far this year, a rise of some 41 per cent.
So far this year, Volkswagen is the top-selling brand overall with 9,220 registrations, followed by Toyota (8,900), Hyundai (8,584), Ford (8,510), and Nissan (7,722). The top selling models up to the end of June were the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf, and Ford Focus.
With just 1,397 new cars registered in June, the best-selling brand was BMW, driven largely by the market arrival and delivery of its new 5 Series, which was the best-selling model of the month. However, for the year to date, Audi retains the slightest of leads over its premium German rivals. To date Audi has 3,705 new car registrations, BMW has 3,688 registrations, while Mercedes-Benz has 3,556.