Car sales dip

With a 21pc drop in sales of passenger cars in February 2017 compared to the same month last year, car registrations year to date are now 8.7pc down on 2016, writes Brian Byrne. Concerns that this was happening were flagged at the recent Annual Dinner of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

Statistics released this morning by show that Toyota is now the leader in car registrations with 11pc market share, from Hyundai (10.7pc), Ford (9.9pc), Volkswagen (9.8pc) and Nissan (8.5pc). Renault, Skoda, Kia, Opel and Mercedes-Benz round out the top ten.

The car with most registrations to date remains the Hyundai Tucson, from Nissan’s Qashqai, Volkswagen’s Golf, Ford’s Focus and Skoda’s Octavia.

More cars were registered between 20-28 February 2017 than were in the first 20 days of the month, 9,014 against 8,001, to a total of 17,015 for the month.

“With almost 4,000 registered on the last day of February the message to the public is that this is a great time to go new car shopping,” says Michael Rochford, MD of, “as dealers will want to unload these pre-registered vehicles to sustain the market.”

Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said the industry has been anticipating lower numbers in February compared to 2016, ‘with Brexit continuing to impact on used vehicle imports, with fewer working days this year and with less hire-drive cars because of a later Easter’. “But these numbers are somewhat poorer than we had hoped,” he said.

Registration of Light Commercial Vehicles are down 27.5pc in February compared to the same month last year.

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