NEW-car buying plunged last month – despite July heralding the start of the new 222-vehicle registration period.
total of 21,902 new cars were registered compared with 26,477 in July 2021, a drop of 17.3pc.
It brings to 87,075 the total number of new cars registered so far this year and that is down from 90,330 for the corresponding period in 2021.
However, the latest Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) statistics show continued growth in sales of new electric vehicles. A total of 2,738 were registered compared to 1,895 in July 2021. And for the year to date, 11,182 have been registered. That is nearly 80pc up on 2021.
EVs, plug-in hybrids and hybrids now command a combined market share of 40.9pc. Petrol buying accounted for 29.29pc of sales, diesel 27.51pc with hybrid on 21.23pc, battery electric 12.84pc and plug-ins 6.83pc.
There has been a fall of 21.3pc in used-car imports and year-to-date imports were down 31.1pc.
Brian Cooke, director general of SIMI said it was disappointing to see a 17.3pc fall in what is the start of the second highest sales period.
“While it appears that there is an appetite among consumers for both new and used cars, supply issues are hampering overall activity. The impact of this is another year of below par performance which results in the Irish car fleet continuing to get older,” he said.
Mr Cooke said the underlying new-car market needs to grow significantly over the next few years to “optimise transport emission reductions”.
He warned against the government reducing EV supports or increasing taxation as it will “only act as a barrier to change and add to the cost of living”.
SIMI is asking the government to continue its backing for EVs by extending supports at current levels out to 2025 and to resist any VRT increases in Budget 2023.