Since 1987, when the year-based car registration system was introduced, January has consistently been the busiest month for new car sales in Ireland.
Not so for this year, as the latest Government Covid-19 restrictions will curtail the normal business activities of car dealers across the country for at least the first four weeks of January and perhaps, for even longer into February. This will have significant repercussions for the industry which was already badly hit during 2020.
However, head of Ford Ireland, John Manning supports the Government moves to curtail the spread of the virus: “It will be really tough on our business, as new car sales will now be much lower than what they would be for a ‘normal’ January, we will be limited to providing new vehicles to customers within the guidelines of ‘click and collect’ services that both our Dealers and other Dealer brands will be providing.
“However, these are necessary steps and we fully support the restrictions as the number one priority is to protect people from the spread of the virus.”
“Everyone needs to get on board and obey the tier 5 restrictions, as this is the only way that we can drive down new cases of the virus and keep our communities safe in the short term.
“The more people that fully comply, the sooner we will be able to see businesses opening up again.”
“As we have seen over the past year, our economy and indeed, the car sales sector, is resilient and can rebound from the restrictions but it requires all of us to play our part.
“My hope is that February can be as buoyant as a ‘traditional’ January in the new car sector if the conditions are such that businesses can reopen at the end of January.”
“With this in mind, we would request of the Government that the current VAT reduction be extended to the end of March. In this very tough environment, we need all the help we can get to boost vehicle sales and the continuation of the VAT reduction would be a great asset in this regard.”