Head of Motor Sector at Bank of Ireland Stephen Healy analyses how the industry has fared in the first half of the year.
Level 5 Covid restrictions were in place for the first 4.5 months of 2021 and the sector continues to show its resilience during the health crisis.
Motor dealers continued to open for vehicle aftersales and consumers could visit dealers to have maintenance carried out. For new and used vehicle sales, dealers engaged with customers using digital methods such as personalised video messages and operated a “click and deliver” service.
“When hire drive sales are excluded, new passenger car sales are running at c. 90pc of 2019 levels thus highlighting strong underlying retail demand.”
Dealers fully reopened for both sales and aftersales on 17th May. This was timely for dealers to order build ahead of the second sales peak commencing in July 2021. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, this year new passenger car sales are running at c. 80pc of 2019 levels.
New van sales are c. 11pc ahead of 2019 levels, highlighting increased demand for home deliveries. When hire drive sales are excluded, new passenger car sales are running at c. 90pc of 2019 levels thus highlighting strong underlying retail demand.
Used passenger car imports are c. 33pc lower than in 2019 due to the impact of Brexit and changes to the treatment of vehicle registration tax for used imports in January of this year.