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SIMI Report

Are Brexit worries stopping people buying new cars?

Maybe… but total new car registrations year-to-date are up on the same period last year.

WITH ATTENTION ALREADY starting to switch towards the 171 registration period, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has reported a slowdown in new vehicle registrations in October.

SIMI’s director general has speculated that Brexit could be one possible cause of the slowdown.

In new data released by SIMI, 2,243 new cars were registered in October – down 12 per cent, or 316 units, on the previous October.

Overall the number of registrations in 2016 have been up by 18 per cent compared with the previous year. Up to the end of October, this figure was 145,433, which is 21,913 more than the same period in 2015.

A similar picture is also painted in the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations data, which increased by 4,373 units (or 19%) YTD, yet October saw a 2% decrease equal to 23 units. Similarly, Heavy Good Vehicle (HGV) registrations have been up 34% YTD but down by 16% in October.

Alan Nolan, the director general of SIMI, said:

In the final quarter of the year, we do expect to see a slowdown in new vehicle registrations, with much smaller numbers each month, compared to the peak selling months; indeed, the industry is already moving its focus to the 2017 sales period, as can be seen, and heard in current advertising campaigns.

He added:

However, it is fairly apparent that the 162-period, at 7 per cent up on last year, has seen a slowing-down in registrations relative to the 161-period, which finished 23 per cent up on the first six months of 2015. Whether this has been influenced by the Brexit situation or just a slowing of retail activity in the Irish economy after a sustained period of growth, is not yet clear but this is something that the industry will be continuing to watch closely.

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