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Motoring industry reports 11.5pc drop in new cars sold in 2012

The Society of the Irish Motoring Industry says 79,498 cars were sold in 2012 – down from almost 90,000 the year before.

Image: Car showroom photo via Shutterstock

THE OVERALL number of new cars sold in Ireland in 2012 fell by over 11 per cent compared to the previous year, industry figures have claimed.

Data published by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry estimated that a total of 79,498 new cars were sold between January and December.

The previous year’s figures suggested that 89,878 cars had been sold.

2012′s figures reflect a drop of 57.3 per cent on sales of about 186,238 in 2007, the first year for which detailed SIMI figures are available.

The figures show that Volkswagen overtook Toyota as Ireland’s best-selling car brand, with 10,073 sales, making up 12.67 per cent of the market in spite of a 10 per cent drop in Volkswagen’s own individual sales figures.

Toyota’s sales, of 9,998, were down by 15.36 per cent on the previous year. Ford, in third place, saw an 18.32 per cent fall in its sales but still managed to keep third place with 8,592 cars sold.

The Ford Focus remains the most popular model of car, with 3,748 sold, ahead of the Volkswagen Golf at 3,360 and Nissan’s Qashqai at 3,298. Toyota’s Avensis (2,938) and Yaris (2,438) complete the top five.

The data regularly disagrees with official records published by the Central Statistics Office, whose most recent records reported 1,421 registrations of new cars in November compared to SIMI’s 883 figure.

The CSO’s data, for which December figures have not yet been compiled, estimated a 12.6 per cent fall in the sales of new cars between January and November 2012 when compared to the same equivalent period for 2011.

The figures also show that five out of every six new cars sold in Ireland in 2012 were sold in the first half of the year – with only 12,851 new vehicles sold between July and December, including only 316 in December.

The industry has previously argued that the introduction of a second registration plate would help to spread its business more evenly throughout the year.

Yesterday marked the first day of registrations for the new 131 registration plates, which will be issued only until the end of June, after which newly-registered vehicles will have the registration plate 132.

First look: Here’s what the new 2013 numberplates will look like

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Gavan Reilly

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