Car sales in Wexford are up, but margins tight

By David tucker

Published 14/01/2017 | 00:00

New models, such as the Nissan Micra (above) will boost sales. Hyundai, whose popular Tucson is pictured left, was the top selling marque in County Wexford last year.
New models, such as the Nissan Micra (above) will boost sales. Hyundai, whose popular Tucson is pictured left, was the top selling marque in County Wexford last year.

SALES of new cars in Wexford were up almost 18 per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to the latest figures from the SIMI.

They show that 3,484 passenger cars were sold during the past 12 months, compared to 2,962 in 2015, and 2,571 in 2014.

Despite the increased sales there was little change in County Wexford's share of the national market, at 2.37 per cent in 2016, compared to 2.37 per cent in 2015.

The percentage increase in Wexford of 17.62 per cent was marginally ahead of the national average of 17.5 per cent.

Nationally December registrations were up 45 per cent (499) compared with the same month in 2015 (344).

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) for 2016 recorded an increase of 18.3% (28,180) when compared to 2015 (23,829). Despite the month of December registering a decrease of -23% (179) in comparison to December 2015 (235). Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations in 2016 were up 31.3% (2,873) on the previous year (2,188).

Alan Nolan, Director General, SIMI, said new car registrations for 2016 finished at 146,600 for the full year, making it the highest year for new car registrations since 2008.

'Despite some slowing in the second half of the year, the numbers are in line with expectations at the start of 2016 and underline the continued growth and buoyancy in the economy.

Used car imports have also seen growth, partly due to the strong economic recovery, but also driven by short supply of 2009-2013 Irish used cars and the strengthening of the Euro against Sterling following the Brexit Referendum.

Almost 50 per cent of imported used cars were in this age profile, between three and five years old, and almost another 40 per cent are over six years old.

With political uncertainty in the UK ahead of Brexit negotiations and weak Sterling, it's likely that the numbers of imports from the Uk will continue to grow.

However, as we move into 2017 and the new 171 registration period the Industry is anticipating a continuation of the strong performance seen during 2016 and is projecting similar registration numbers to last year.

The five top selling makes in County Wexford for 2016 are:

1 Hyundai; 2 Ford; 3 Toyota; 4 Volkswagen and 5 Nissan. In 2015, the top five marques were the same but in a slightly different order with Ford and Hyundai swapping places: 1 Ford; 2 Toyota; 3 Nissan; 4 Volkswagen and 5 Hyundai.

Thomas MacDonald, sales manager for Wexford Care Centre, Nissan and Kia, said volumes were up but margins were tighter.

'There was a lot of uncertainty towards the end of the year due to Brexit and American elections but it all seems to have settled down again and we're looking forward to a better 2017,' he said. 'The arrival of the Nissan Micra in April will further boost sales and an increase in commercial sales though the Nissan Navara and the Nissan NV 300 van.' Mr MacDonald said Kia were making a strong start to the year, helped by the arrival of the Niro Hybrid and the Optima SW.

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