Uncertainty over Brexit is a major factor for the continuing decline in sales of new cars
THE uncertainty over Brexit is a major factor for the continuing decline in sales of new cars, according to one prominent Limerick car dealer.
Brian Geary was reacting to figures which show the number of new cars registered in Limerick last year fell by more than 4% compared to 2017.
Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show 4,311 new cars were registered in Limerick during 2018 – down from 4,493 the previous year.
Just over a third of the new cars (1,464) were registered during January while a fifth (861) were registered during July.
The figures show just three new cars were sold in Limerick during December while 22 were sold in November.
Brian Geary, who operates Toyota dealerships in Raheen and Rathkeale, says Brexit has had a significant impact.
“Given the relatively strong economic performance over the past year, without any Brexit impact we would have expected the registrations to go from 131,000 (nationally) up to maybe about 145,000 but given Brexit and weak sterling what we saw was a decrease,” he told Live 95FM’s Limerick Today programme.
According to SIMI, cars manufactured by Ford (548), Toyota (498), Volkswagen (404), Hyundai (371) and Nissan (363) were the five most popular sold in Limerick last year.
The five most popular models of car were Ford Focus (177), Nissan Qashqai (163), Ford Fiesta (145), Hyundai Tuscon (143) and Ford Kuga (142).
When it comes to colour, more than 41% (1,789) of the new cars sold in Limerick last year were grey while there no silver or aluminium cars sold.
While accounting for 54% of all new cars, the number of diesel cars sold fell by more than 19%.
According to SIMI, just over 6% of the new cars registered in Limerick last year were electric or hybrid.