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Further fall in car sales as industry pins hopes on '132' numberplate

The number of new cars sold in May was down 22.5 per cent on the same month last year, SIMI figures show.

Image: Alexander Chaikin via Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF new cars sold in May was over 20 per cent lower than the equivalent month in 2012, new industry figures show.

Data from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) suggests that 5,963 new vehicles were sold in May – down by 22.5 per cent on the 7,697 that had been sold in the same month last year.

The figures mean car sales in every month in 2013 have been lower than the counterpart month in 2012.

Car dealers have reported sales of 51,574 new vehicles so far this year, down from 60,297 in the first five months of 2012.

That number represents a decline of nearly 14.5 per cent.

Toyota was the highest-selling brand in May, selling 778 units, ahead of Volkswagen on 738 and Ford on 619. Nissan’s Qashqai was the highest-selling model, however, with 220 sales ahead of the Volkswagen Golf at 201.

SIMI director general Alan Nolan said it was clear that there had been “even less spending in the domestic economy this year than in previous years, which were not good to begin with.”

Nolan said the industry was now waiting in hope that the introduction of the new ’132′ registration plate next month could entice some people to buy cars at a time of the year when they may otherwise have waited until the New Year.

“There are now real benefits for consumers buying at this time of year, and the industry is gearing up for some extra interest and activity in July,” Nolan said.

SIMI had been among the bodies calling for the introduction of registration plates that changed every six months, instead of every year, hoping that it would help to distribute sales more evenly throughout the year.

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Gavan Reilly

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