Most industry estimates for 2013 new car sales were predicting 75,000 units, but the final figure for the year will be around 1,000 short of this figure. By contrast, in the commercial side, sales finished 3% up on 2012, so perhaps businesses are feeling more bullish than consumers.
The used car market was also well up but there’s a concern that a 25% increase on used vehicles into the country might result in sharp practices and buyers should be cautions, particularly if they suspect a car they’re looking at was not originally sold in Ireland.
“With a shortage of used stock in the country, unsavoury practices are more evident than ever in the used car market” said Michael Rochford, Managing Director of Motorcheck.ie. “We encounter the horror stories on a daily basis, and now more than ever consumers considering the purchase of a used car need to protect themselves from clocking, badly repaired write-offs and vehicles under finance” he continued.
News also emerged today that 5,000 cars were towed from NCT centres during 2013 because they were deemed too dangerous to be driven. “Irish Motorists would be wise to be cautious with any used car, regardless of whether it’s an Irish car or imported from the UK” added Rochford.
So, with 2013 behind us and 2014 to look forward to, just who were the winners and losers in the Motor Trade?
Volkswagen continue to take the plaudits for Top Manufacturer and Top Make, with the VW marque 2.5% ahead of the next highest manufacturer (Ford) in new car registrations. The VW Golf is the market leader with sales for the model up 5% year on year. The only other model to increase its sales in the Top 5 was the Ford Fiesta (+12%).
Overall registrations for 2013 are up 4.8% – accounting for all new and used vehicles registered in the state during 2013.