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Motor Industry takes more conservative view of 2017

21 July 2016

Motor Industry takes more conservative view of 2017

• 162 New car registrations for first 20 days of July +11% (21,525), Light Commercials +25%
 (2,657) and Heavy Commercial Vehicles +30% (304)
• New car registrations in first 6 months 2016 (101,335) up 23% on 2015

• Strongest Growth in Car Sales Q2 2016: Roscommon 37.9%, Leitrim lowest 14.5%

• €978.4 Million Exchequer contribution from car sales Q2 of 2016 up 28.5% on Q2 2015

• Commercial Vehicles Q2 2016: Light Commercials +25.6% (18,409) and Heavy Commercial Vehicles +42% (1,789)

• Cost of Motoring: Petrol prices down -8.4%, Diesel prices down -12.4%, Price of a new car -3% Insurance Costs up +38.6%

• 2016 forecast of new car sales to reach 152,000

• DoneDeal motor ads published Q2 2016 513,305

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) today issued their second Quarterly Motor Industry Review of 2016 in association with DoneDeal. The SIMI/DoneDeal report highlights the strong performance that the Motor Industry has made in the first half of 2016 with the Exchequer collecting €978.4 million in VRT and VAT receipts from new and used car sales in the first half of 2016, which is 28.5% higher than the same period in 2015. Although there has been some deceleration as the year has progressed, the economic outlook is still positive with total car sales forecast to reach 152,000 by the end of the year. 

Jim Power Economist and author of the SIMI/DoneDeal Report said: Despite the still-positive economic outlook, growth in car sales could be low or maybe even flat in 2017. This slowdown in growth reflects a market approaching, but still lower, than its natural state, after a prolonged period of catch up, but one that is now shrouded in Brexit uncertainty.”

The review also highlights that the cost of motoring in general has decreased with the price of new cars down on average 3%, Petrol prices have declined by 8.4% and Diesel prices also declined by 12.4% in contrast the cost of motor insurance is increasing at a significant pace have again increased by 38.6% in the first quarter of 2016. SIMI has raised the issue of rising insurance costs which are impacting most on younger drivers and those driving older cars.

Alan Greene SIMI President highlighted: “In the first 6 months of 2016, 32,285 used cars were imported but we have seen research quoted in the media that among these cars have been a significant number that should never be allowed on the road here. It is totally unacceptable that dangerously unsafe cars written-off and removed from the road in another jurisdiction can be registered and put back into service here. We also have cars written off here, which have no record of their unsafe status recorded on the NVDF to protect future buyers and other road users. SIMI has been pressing for action on these issues for far too long and it is vital that these problems are dealt with without any further delay.  We understand that proposals on write-offs are before the Cabinet and we urge the Minister to take immediate action. A statutory requirement to record all write-offs and details of seriously damaged vehicles on the NVDF together with a prohibition on registering unsafe vehicles that have been previously written-off in another country will save lives on our roads and will protect consumers. 

The soaring cost of insurance, especially for young people or for those driving older cars is also a serious concern. The proposed action on write-offs may also help in this regard but more than that is needed to reduce the cost of motor insurance. We believe it’s time for the Government to establish a strong review of the causes of the current high cost of insurance, similar to the Motor Insurance Advisory board that successfully achieved significant insurance cost reductions during the late 1990’s. There is a real danger that without such action we will see an increase in the number of uninsured drivers as was the case previously when insurance costs were unacceptably high.”

Figures from DoneDeal, Ireland’s most popular motoring site mirrored the growth rate seen in the Motor Industry, with car Dealership advertising volumes increasing by 19% in the first half of the year.   

Cathal Cremen, Commercial Manager of DoneDeal’s Motor Section, said: ““It is great to see the Motor Industry achieving growth in H1 2016.At DoneDeal we are seeing identical growth trends. We now estimate that over 72% of all Dealerships stock, eight years old or younger are being advertised on DoneDeal’s car section.

“The first half of 2016 has seen an increase in trade-ins and the volume of Dealerships subscribing to and advertising on DoneDeal growing by 16.4% year on year.  This has been a significant contributory factor in the motor section showing annual growth of over 21% in Dealership sales. There is no doubt that DoneDeal’s partnership with SIMI is also one of the major reasons behind this growth.”

The key drivers of new car sales are being driven by the sustained economic recovery, strong growth in employment, personal disposable incomes, modest reduction in personal tax burden and the availability of car finance.  

To view the full SIMI Motor Industry Review in association with DoneDeal visit www.simi.ie/quarterlyreview  

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Notes to Editor
Interviews with economist and author of the SIMI / DoneDeal Motor Industry Review, Jim Power, available upon request

For further information:
Teresa Noone, SIMI, 01 676 1690 / 087 792 8844 / tnoone@simi.ie  
Declan Lee, Insight Consultants, 087 695 7451 / declan@insightconsultants.ie