New car sales crash dramatically in March due to Covid-19

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

New car sales crash dramatically in March due to Covid-19

New car sales crash dramatically in March due to Covid-19

New car registrations for March were down 63% (6,174) in March when compared to March 2019 (16,687), the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has revealed.

Registrations nationally for the year to date are down 20.5% (51,015) on the same period last year (64,126) as Covid-19 closes many garages and keeps people indoors.

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are down 52.9% (1,434) compared to March last year (3,044) and year to date are down 15.2% (9,378). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 17.67% (313) in comparison to March 2019 (266). Year to date HGV's are up 12.59% (993).

Used car imports for March (4,656) have seen a decrease of 48.1% on March 2019 (8,970). Year to date imports are down 34.9% (17,471) on 2019 (26,832).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting on the market figures said:

“The health of our nation is the overriding priority. The Motor Industry will assist the State in any way we can during this pandemic. While showrooms, service and other activities within the Industry are closed, members are available to assist in emergency call-out or delivery services. This will be vital in keeping essential and emergency services moving.

"The Motor Industry and its employees, like so many Industries, is feeling the devastating impact of COVID-19. Even before the crisis commenced, the new car market was in decline, and this fall has accelerated rapidly in the last fortnight with new car activity down nearly two-thirds on last year. Whatever the duration of this crisis, once we emerge, we will need to see decisive and ambitious action from Government to protect the nearly 50,000 jobs in our sector.”