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Electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf are continuing to surge in popularity.

New car sales bounce back in Clare but SIMI seeks state support

THERE have been 1,945 new cars registered in county Clare to date this year. This compares to 1,795 registered to the same point in 2020 and represents an 8.36% increase.

Clare’s share of the new car market this year is 2.02% of sales nationwide, a slight drop from 2.28% at the same stage in 2020.

Overall in Ireland some 96,309 new cars have been registered in the year to date compared to 78,864 for the same period in 2020, an increase of 22.1%.

When compared with 2019, however, pre-pandemic, there have been 12.9% fewer cars registered to the same point. In 2019, by the end of August 110,527 new cars had been registered nationwide.

Another stand-out in the figures is the continuing surge in purchases of electric vehicles. Some 831 new electric vehicles registered were in August compared to 294 in August 2020.

So far this year 7,057 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 2,954 on the same period 2020.

Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 30.76%. Diesel now accounts for 34.09%, Petrol 32.5%, Hybrid 16.32%, Electric 7.33% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 7.11%.

Commenting Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said, “The appetite among consumers for new cars, boosted by pent-up demand and strong consumer savings, that was in evidence in July has continued into August.

“New car sales are up 25% on the same month last year and by 22% year to date. However, these numbers must be viewed in the context of the pre-COVID market, and registrations are still lagging 18% behind 2019.” – SIMI chief, Brian Cooke

“The new car market has in recent years been hampered not only by the pandemic, but also by Brexit related issues, and this has seen several years of a weakened new car market.

“What is positive is that those businesses and consumers who have been buying new cars are choosing lower emitting vehicles across all fuel types. In particular there has been a significant uplift in the sale of new electric cars since the start of this year.

“As we move into a post pandemic economic environment, it is vital that the momentum behind this drive to lower emissions is maintained and built upon. In this context, it is important that both the Government and the Motor Industry deliver affordable transport options to give consumers the real choice to make positive environmental decisions.

“For the industry this means continued investment in driving down emissions from the vehicles they produce. For Government any Budgetary measures in relation to new cars must support a strong new car market that focuses on lower emitting vehicles, and also on getting older higher emitting vehicles off the road.

“We need integrated incentives to build consumer confidence and encourage behavioural change across both the new and used vehicle markets.

“In Budget 2022 this means a Budget that encourages consumers and business to trade up to a lower emitting vehicle. The electric vehicle grants, the zero percent Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) for company cars and other incentives are vital supports to increase the sales of EVs and these need to be extended.

“While State and commercial investment in a nationwide EV charging infrastructure is key to giving motorist more confidence in the essential strategic EV project”.

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