Motor Sector News: Dealers report strong consumer demand

Bank of Ireland head of Motor Sector Stephen Healy charts a rise in electric vehicle sales and has some good news on the supply chain front.

January ’22 lookback

Car sales in Ireland in January 2022.

In the month of January, new passenger car (PC) sales fell slightly by 0.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 25,093units. Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales increased 0.7% y-o-y to 5,055 units and used imports declined 40.8% y-o-y to 4,041 units.

“Sales of electrically chargeable vehicles (ECVs) increased to almost 20% of new car sales in January with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounting for nearly 11%”


Passenger car registrations

Toyota holds the #1 position with 20.1% market share, followed by Hyundai with 14.5% in #2, Volkswagen with 6.9% in #3, Skoda also with 6.9% in #4 and Kia with 6.1% in #5.

Light Commercial Vehicle registrations

Ford holds the #1 position with 26.4% market share, followed by Volkswagen with 16.0% in #2, Opel with 13.8% in #3,

Citroen with 9.6% in #4 and Toyota with 9.5% in #5.

Market News

In 2022, the news is likely to be dominated by supply and electric vehicles.

Sales of new vehicles were flat in January however this is not due to a lack of consumer demand. The motor sector was hampered by supply challenges, particularly relating to semi-conductor chip shortages. This is a global problem affecting vehicle production and has led to lower inventories and supply shortages worldwide.

Motor dealers report strong consumer demand and we see evidence of this demand in on-going approval activity.

Supply shortages are, however, driving improved margins which partially mitigates against lower volumes. Pre-pandemic, Q1 accounts for almost 57% of annual new car sales with January alone representing almost 30%. This year, market seasonality will be different.

The extent of the supply challenge varies from franchise to franchise as can be seen in market share movements in the chart below.


Automotive News Europe predict global vehicle supply shortages will exist for most of 2022 but production volumes will start to improve in Q2.

This would be timely for the Irish market as we have a second peak in new vehicle sales in July. Improved supply in Q2 would arrive in Ireland to help feed new car sales from July, so it is likely we will see a stronger second half when compared to historical trends.

Sales of electrically chargeable vehicles (ECVs) increased to almost 20% of new car sales in January with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounting for nearly 11%. Combined sales of ECVs and Hybrid vehicles now account for almost half of new car sales this year.

This sector expects new car sales growth of 10-15% in 2022.

Undoubtedly, there will be twists and turns along the way but the sector has proved its resilience over the past two years of Covid.

Read report:

Motor Sector News February 2022
Stephen Healy
Stephen Healy is the former head of Motoring at Bank of Ireland.