How Covid-19 is affecting the motor trade

New statistics show that new car registrations are down by 63% in March 2020…

But how bad is it?

Just as the Motor industry was already suffering a decline in new car sales, the Coronavirus arrived into view and slashed any dreams that motor brands had about trying to get out ahead by the end of the year.

To put this into perspective, in March 2019, there were 16,000 new cars registered. That number for March 2020, is 6,000.

People are staying at home. There are no cars on our roads. The M50 is empty. During this time of uncertainty about our future, our jobs and our health, people are simply not thinking about buying a new car. And they may not for a while to come.


Brian Cooke, Director-General of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has said “Whatever the duration of this crisis, once we emerge, we will need to see decisive and ambitious action from the Government to protect the nearly 50,000 jobs in our sector.”

He also added “While showrooms, service and other activities within the Industry are closed, members are available to assist in emergency call-out or delivery services. This will be vital in keeping essential and emergency services moving.”

As well as new car sales being down this year, used car imports for the month were also reportedly down, falling 48% to 4,656 and so far this year there have been almost 35% fewer used cars imported to the State.

The most growth came in the plug-in electric hybrid, up 67 per cent to 1,032, while regular hybrids were up 25.8 per cent to 6,206 and Toyota still remains the best selling car brand in Ireland.

Only time will tell how the Motor trade will recover, but it will not be easy.

Greg Gaughran, Motoring Editor,

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