New car sales crash: Waterford suffers highest drop in registrations in country
Sales of new vehicles in Waterford have dropped lower than anywhere else in the country, according to new figures.
Official new vehicle statistics published by the the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) this week show the number of new car registrations in Waterford plummeted by 44.14% last month to 1,249. This compares to the 2,236 new registrations recorded in the county for the same period last year.
The figures also show Waterford’s share of the country’s new vehicle market has dropped from 2.82% to 2.41%.
Dublin (42.81%) recorded the second hightest percentage drop in vehicle registrations, according to the figures.
Nationally, car registrations for May declined 72.3% (1,751) when compared to May 2019 (6,320).
Retailers showrooms remained closed until the May 18 as a result of Covid-19, which SIMI said impacted “heavily” on sales. Registrations year to date are down 34.6% (51,904) on the same period last year (79,350).
The new figures also reveal the commercial vehicle sector was also badly affected by the pandemic. Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) down 70.3% (510) compared to May last year (1,717) and year to date are down 31.3% (10,016). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are down 69.8% (90) in comparison to May 2019 (298). Year to date HGV’s are down 23.2% (1141).
Used car imports for May (857) saw a decrease of 90.8% on May 2019 (9,347), whle year to date imports are down 58.9% (18,525) on 2019 (45,066).
Commenting on the figures, SIMI Director General Brian Cooke said: “Our Industry is grateful to be open for business again. SIMI members continue to implement social distancing and sanitisation measures, in accordance with both Industry and State guidelines, that will protect both their employees and customers against the spread of COVID-19.
“With new car sales for the month over 70% down on May last year and with both the dire economic outlook for the rest of the year and no hire drive activity, it is clearly going to be a very challenging period for the industry. In the short term the State should expedite the safe re-opening of NCT, while also re-instate the Government Grants for Company Electric Vehicle purchases.
“The key July registration period is fast approaching, and the Motor Industry has commenced promotional activity with a variety of attractive new car offers already announced in order to optimise sales. In addition, strong Government support in the coming weeks, months and year will be vital in helping the Industry support the nearly 50,000 people in employment.”