THERE were 1,442 new car registrations in Kildare last month, up just over 3% on a figure of 1,398 in January 2019, according to the latest stats from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI). Of those units, 273 were electric or hybrid vehicles.
Kildare has gone against the national trend as, overall, new car registrations for January are down 3.5% (31,251) compared to the same month the previous year (32,370). Delving into the figures, the Thoroughbred county accounts for 4.6% of new car registrations during the first month of 2020. Dublin’s share, unsurprisingly, is the largest at 11,219 units or 35.9%.
Diesel continues to be Ireland’s most popular engine type (42.1%), followed by petrol (39.6%) and hybrid (13.6%).
“January is the most important selling month for new cars,” said Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General. “In this regard, it is very disappointing to see a reduction in new car sales compared to January last year, the fourth consecutive year in which there has been a fall.”
On a more positive note, Mr Cooke explained that there has been a reduction of almost 6% in the average CO2 emissions from new cars registered in January, which he said underlines the industry’s commitment to reducing emissions from new cars.
“The industry is fully committed to further significant reductions in emissions in the years ahead,” he stated. “New cars ultimately displace the oldest most environmentally damaging cars in the national fleet and in order for Ireland to benefit fully from these technology improvements the new car market needs to be much stronger than it currently is and Government policy should support this. January also saw a significant decline in used imports, and while it may be too early to tell, the introduction of the NOx charge on January 1 appears to have reduced demand for older used imports.”
SIMI’s latest Motor Industry Update also noted that 117,100 new cars were registered in Ireland in 2019 – a 6.8% reduction on the year before. That trend was borne out in Kildare too, with 4,452 new car registrations in 2019 and 5,308 in 2018 (a drop of just over 16% year-on-year).