Recovery In The Motor Industry Gathering Momentum

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) today launched the SIMI/DoneDeal 3rd Quarter Motor Industry Review at its National Retailers Conference in Killashee House Hotel, Naas Co Kildare. The report which was compiled by Economist Jim Power in association with DoneDeal provides key Industry information on 2015 up to the end of September and comments on the prospects for 2016.

The SIMI National Retailers conference attended by Distributor, Franchise and Independent Retailer members heard how in the first 9 months of 2015, new car sales to September (121,098) were up 30% on 2014 and the Exchequer benefitted by collecting €1.12 billion from both new  and used car sales. This positive 9 months story has continued into October with figures from SIMI last week showing new registrations remain 30% ahead of 2014 currently totalling 123,670. The 152 plates can be seen to have had a very significant impact on car sales, as registrations in the third quarter were 41.1% ahead of the same period in 2014. Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) are up 43% and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) are also up 6% year to date.

The review highlighted that the cost of motoring in general has decreased with the price of a new car down on average of 3% notwithstanding the fact that motor insurance costs have increased by 26.7% in the year to September 2015. Petrol prices declined by 11.8%, while Diesel prices also declined by 16% in the year to September. Consumer confidence is at a nine year high and credit conditions for motor finance are also improving with the PCP model making a significant contribution.

Economist and author of the report, Jim Power, said; “The recovery in the motor industry that commenced during 2014 has gathered significant momentum in 2015 and it is turning out to be a good year, at least in terms of sales activity. The growth in car sales is making a significant contribution to employment, Exchequer receipts and regional economic activity.”  Looking at 2016 Jim Power commented “new car sales in 2016 look set to grow by at least 20% on 2015, which would translate into total sales of at least 150,000 translating into an extra 3,250 jobs in the auto sector; and increased VAT and VRT revenues of €208 million for the Exchequer”.

The SIMI/DoneDeal Review also highlighted the key contribution of the Motor Industry in relation to job creation with an annual increase of 3,700 new jobs in the sector at the end of June.

Mark Boggan, President of the SIMI, said; “From the Quarterly Report we see every county continues to experience growth in new car sales, ranging from Leitrim with the strongest growth of 44.6% to Wexford with the lowest growth rate of 15.4%. It is evident that the Industry continues to make significant regional and local contribution to the overall improvement in the labour market and while the growth rates in new car sales around the country is indicating that the economic recovery is becoming more broad-based from a geographical perspective this positioning is uneven outside the main urban areas”.

DoneDeal has seen very strong growth in motor advertising with a 30% increase in visits to their Motoring Section for the third quarter of 2015, compared to similar period last year.

Cathal Cremen, Commercial Manager of DoneDeal’s Motor Section, said; “We are delighted to once again see strong demand and interest for a wide range of vehicles in our motoring section.  Latest figures from DoneDeal’s site indicates that we now have 67,917 cars advertised for sale.  The choice for prospective buyers has never been greater with great value to be had.  2015 is shaping up to be the strongest year for the motor industry for many years.”

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