The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) have this week released their official new vehicle statistics. New car registrations for February were down 7.7% (13,915) when compared to February 2019 (15,069).

Registrations year to date are also down 4.9% (45,096) on the same period last year (47,439).

Light Commercial vehicles (LCV) are down 6.9% (2,294) compared to February last year (2,465) and year to date are down 0.8% (7,946).

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 14.5% (300) in comparison to February 2019 (262). Year to date HGV’s are up 11.04% (684).

Used car imports for February (6,196) have seen a decrease of 30.1% on February 2019 (8,859). Year to date imports are down 28.2% (12,818) on 2019 (17,862).

For the month of February 401 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 325 on the same month last year +23.38%. While so far this year 1,294 new electric cars were registered in comparison to 1,124 on the same period last year an increase of 15.12%.

Both Hybrid and plug in Hybrid continue to increase their market share.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting on the market figures said: “New car sales continue to disappoint with February’s registrations showing further deterioration since January. Political and economic uncertainty is depressing consumer confidence and we now have the added problem of the Coronavirus, which may disrupt new hire drive registrations for the tourist season in March and April.

“The introduction of the new NOx charge in January has led to a fall in the demand for older used imports, with a fall of over 40% in used imports over 5 years old.

“New electric car registrations are up 15% (1,294) year to date yet, but further analysis of this number reveals that while private consumer purchases of EVs, which still attract the SEAI grant, are up over 30%, there has been a reduction in company electric car purchases where this support no longer applies.”