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Ireland new car registrations January 2023

Good news for the car trade as registrations in January are up by almost ten per cent.

The market for new cars in Ireland has risen by almost ten per cent (9.4 per cent to be exact) in January, compared to the same month last year.

27,364 new cars have been registered in the all-important first month of the year when most new car sales occur. That's up from 25,014 this time last year.

Supply issues

Does this mean that the supply issues that have devilled the industry since 2020 have been cured? That's unlikely, and this is probably going to be a year of high peaks and deep troughs for car sales and supply waxes and wanes, but at least it's off to a good start.

Significantly, light commercial sales (vans, basically) are also up, by 10.1 per cent, on this time last year, which is a good indicator of a robust underlying economy. Electric car sales are also up, but their pace of growth is slowing. EVs now account for 13.5 per cent of the market and have risen by 36 per cent since last January, but that's a reduction in the 81 per cent rise for the year as a whole seen in 2022.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, commented: "New car registrations for the month of January are 9.4 per cent ahead of last year. While this is an important step in the right direction for the Industry, both in terms of new cars and the additional trade-ins generated to supply the used car market, sales still remain 15 per cent behind Pre-Covid January 2019. Sales of commercial vehicles, both Light (LCV) and Heavy (HGVs), are also showing an increase on last year. Even more positively, the sales of new Electric Vehicles (EVs) have shown a promising start to the year with 3,682 registrations, a record monthly total. With supply chains improving, we anticipate continuing growth in the EV market, although this will not only be down to vehicle supply but also to the level of Government supports.

"We are still in the early stages of the EV project and the recent announcement of increased funding by the State for the national charging infrastructure will help allay range anxiety concerns and encourage more motorists to look at an EV. However, this increased investment must not be at the expense of purchase supports, which are essential in encouraging the behavioural change required to convince more consumers to go electric. The extension of grants, reduced tolling charges and VRT reliefs, as well as halting the reduction in the EV Benefit-In-Kind reliefs, should be on the agenda. We recognise that supports cannot remain in place indefinitely, however any early erosion or reduction in supports could risk EV supply levels and also reduce sales growth at a key time in the evolution of market, which would also delay the creation of an active used EV market."

Toyota is the best selling brand

Toyota has taken the top spot as the best-selling car brand in the country for January, maintaining the position it held for all of 2022. Hyundai is in second place, followed by Volkswagen, Skoda, Kia, Ford, Dacia, Peugeot, Audi, and BMW.

Steve Tormey, Toyota Ireland's CEO, commented on the January sales period: "Our January market share gives us confidence that it's going to be another strong year for hybrid electric sales. With the widest range of hybrid models on the market, Toyota can fulfil all customers' needs with a car that suits taste, lifestyle and budget. In addition to the low CO2 and negligible NOx emissions, our hybrids represent a smart environmental choice, with the added convenience of not having to plug them in to charge. And, our PHEVs add to that choice with up to 80km EV range on the RAV4.

"Toyota has long championed sustainable driving so it's encouraging to see the move to electrified motoring steadily gather pace over the past few years. I believe that we have the right offering at the right time for the growing number of sustainability-conscious Irish motorists, and our hybrid strategy is working out well for both motorists and the environment. Just four years ago hybrids accounted for 7 per cent of January sales, so to now see the market up at 21 per cent strongly indicates a major mindset shift in favour of our planet. And, with exciting models like the new 1.8L Corolla Cross coming to Toyota dealerships in the summer there'll be yet another great reason to switch to hybrid electric."

Tuscon the best selling model

Hyundai once again holds the top-selling individual model spot with its Tucson. This is followed by the Toyota Yaris Cross, the Toyota Yaris, the Toyota C-HR, the Toyota Corolla, the Dacia Sandero, the Kia Sportage, the Hyundai Kona, the Volkswagen T-Roc, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Stephen Gleeson, Managing Director of Hyundai Ireland, commented on the figures: "We are delighted with our January figures, the Tucson being Ireland's best-selling car is a tremendous accolade. We believe the success of the Tucson comes not just from its brilliant design but also from our dealers being able to offer genuine advice to consumers as to what is the right engine for their needs, given that we sell PHEV, diesel and hybrid in the Tucson. Hyundai now has Ireland's bestselling PHEV, electric and diesel cars. One significant trend we have noticed is the move away from hybrid to actual electric cars or PHEVs as evidenced by the 16 per cent fall in hybrid Sales in a market that is 10 per cent ahead.

"The Ioniq 5 is a game changer for the Hyundai brand, richly deserving its crown as World car of the year in 2022. Its stunning design, size, technology, as well as a broader appeal compared to other cars in its segment, are making it such an attractive option to Irish consumers. Combined sales of Ioniq 5 and the Kona EV on the Irish market have made Hyundai Ireland's best-selling electric car brand in January 2023."

Speaking of the Ioniq 5, it's the best-selling electric vehicle in the country right now, followed by the Hyundai Kona, the Volkswagen ID.4, the Kia EV6, the BMW i4, the Kia Niro, the Nissan Leaf, the Skoda Enyaq, the Renault Megane E-Tech, and the Toyota bZ4X.

In other trends, automatic transmissions have taken over from manuals in popularity in Ireland (58 per cent versus 41 per cent).

Published on February 1, 2023
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