There has been 23% fewer new cars sold in Laois in the first six months of this year compared to same period in 2020.
The monthly figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) last week show that there were 10 new cars sold in the month of June, bringing to 731 the overall number of new cars sold in Laois in 2020.
June has been one of the slower months for new car sales since two registration periods were introduced in 2013 – but the 10 new cars sold in the county in 2020 is greater than the five last year and six in 2020.
The industry was closed for the month of April due to the Coronavirus restrictions before re-opening in mid-May.
Across the country there has been a 34.5% decrease in car sales in the first six months of the year – though at 23%, the decline hasn’t been as sharp in Laois as it is nationally.
Commenting on the registration figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said: “Clearly 2020 has been a very difficult year to date, with new car registrations down 34.5% year on year.
“The new 202-registration period commences this week which brings some hope for the industry by providing an opportunity to increase sales.
“Consumers can see already the hugely varied and attractive new car offers. While pre-orders and enquiries are showing some positive signs, the lack of car hire and the ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19 will see continuing downward pressure on new car demand.
“Going forward, recovery for the sector will be extremely challenging with both new car and commercial vehicle registrations at recession levels.
“Extension of Government supports beyond the current expiry dates will play an important role across all sectors, while for the Motor Industry changes in VRT that encourage motorists to trade up to a lower emitting car have the potential not only to protect local employment, but can also encourage renewal of the national vehicle fleet, which will play an important role in reducing emissions from transport.”
The 23% drop in Laois in the first six months of the years compares similarly to neighbouring counties.
There was 633 cars sold in Carlow in the first six months (a drop of 27%); 706 in Offaly (a 19% drop); 2,382 in Kildare (a drop of 21%), 1,094 in Kilkenny (a drop of 27%) and 1,540 in Tipperary (a drop of 27%).