New car sales in Donegal for the first seven months of this year are up by almost 18%, according to the latest figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
However, while this is good news, it must be seen in the context of the impact that Covid has had on the sector as last year’s new car sales were particularly low.
The latest statistics from the SIMI show that there were 2,088 new car registrations in Donegal for January - July 2021. This was up 17.9% on the figure of 1,771 for the corresponding seven months in 2020.
However, when compared with 2019 (which was pre-Covid and the many restrictions), new car sales are down 2%. In 2019, the new car sales for the January-July period stood at 2,132.
Nevertheless, the signs are encouraging in Donegal. There were 587 new cars registered in the county in July, which was 22% up on the 2019 figure.
That said, the current market is also being distorted by knock-on effects from Brexit, a shortage of new cars - which is a global problem - and pent up demand.
Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commented: “In what has been a very difficult and uncertain trading environment over the last eighteen months, new car sales in July have brought a much needed boost to both the Industry and to local economies.
“Pent-up demand and record savings have led to strong appetite for all vehicles, new and used, cars and commercials.
“While new car sales continue to be well behind pre-COVID levels, hopefully this growth in activity in July is the first step in a return to more sustainable business levels.
He continued: “It is particularly encouraging to see an increase in the sale of new electric vehicles, a vital component in driving down emissions from transport. The level of zero and low emitting vehicles will continue to grow and it is vital that both the Industry and the State continue to invest to deliver the widest possible choice to motorists and commuters.
“The move to zero emissions is a huge challenge across society. In this context, taxation policy and incentives can drive this change positively, but it must support motorists to make the right decisions based on their own individual needs, which will include choosing electric, hybrid and lower emitting traditional fuel type vehicles.”
Nationally, there were 26,483 new car registrations for July compared to 21,171 in July 2020 and 24,681 in July 2019.
A total of 90,342 new cars have been registered in the year to date compared to 74,056 for the same period in 2020 (+22%) and 105,439 in 2019 (-14.3%).
The top five selling brands in Donegal so far this year are Volkswagen (299 units), Kia (264), Toyota (252), Hyundai (211) and Skoda (162).
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) today released their official new vehicle statistics. To present a more accurate picture of the new vehicle registrations, it is important to compare registrations totals with the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID) when businesses were fully operational.