Motor Sector News: It’s steady as she goes for 2023

New car sales ticked up in the EU as new supply came onstream, notes head of Motor Sector at Bank of Ireland Stephen Healy.

“In the three months from August to October, new car sales increased 9% in the EU, 10% in the UK and 30% in Ireland year on year”

November lookback

In the month of November, new passenger car (PC) sales declined 12.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 982 units, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales increased 14.6% y-o-y to 880 units and used imports declined 25.9% y-o-y to 3,295 units.

passenger car sales YTD 2022.
Passenger car registrations

In the first 11 months of 2022, new passenger car registrations increased 0.5% year on year to 105,039 units. Toyota holds the #1 position with 15.3% market share, followed by Hyundai with 12.1% in #2, Volkswagen with 11.1% in #3, Kia with 7.6% in #4 and Skoda with 7.2% in #5.

Light commercial vehicle registrations

In the first 11 months of 2022, new light commercial vehicle registrations declined 18.0% year on year to 23,320 units. Ford holds the #1 position with 24.8% market share, followed by Volkswagen with 12.5% in #2, Toyota with 12.5% in #3, Renault with 9.6% in #4 and Opel with 9.3% in #5.

Used Imports YTD

Registrations of used imports declined 26.6% year on year to 44,047 units in the first 11 months this year.

National picture of car sales in Ireland in November 2022.

Market News

Almost there! As another year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on 2022 and what might be in store for 2023.

Overall, the new car market will be more or less flat in 2022. Consumer demand was strong throughout the year but supply fell short of demand.

Regionally, new car sales outside of Dublin increased 4%. A dip of 4.5% within Dublin is largely explained by a shortage of new supply to the car rental sector, the majority of which is registered in Dublin.

top selling car brands in Ireland in November 2022.

New cars registered for car rental usually represents about 15% of annual new car sales. This year that number will fall short of 5%.

New van sales declined 18% but this stat does not tell the full story. In conversation with franchises, there are many thousands of vans still on back order that could not be supplied in 2022 due to supply chain shortages.          These orders will largely spill into 2023. Comparably, van sales in the EU fell 17% (Oct YTD) again due to supply shortages.

car sales by fuel type november 2022.

On a note of positivity, new car sales recently ticked up across the EU as improved supply came on stream.  

In the three months from August to October, new car sales increased 9% in the EU, 10% in the UK and 30% in Ireland year on year. This indicates a willingness of consumers to take new cars ordered despite a decline in consumer sentiment as outlined in the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse (click link). There are a number of mitigants to declining sentiment to keep in mind (by no means exhaustive):

  • High household deposits standing at €147bn in August (v. €139bn in Aug 2021 v. €109bn in 2019)
  • Low unemployment at c. 4.2%
  • Interest rates for new cars continue to be heavily subsided by our franchise partners
  • Electric vehicle demand continues to grow with BEV’s expected to account for c. 20% of new car sales in 2023
  • Car rental demand is expected to be strong in 2023 due to continued recovery post-pandemic within the tourism sector
  • Budget 2023 introduced personal and business measures to partly offset higher cost of living expenses
  • Vehicle Registration Tax will not be increased in 2023 providing certainty for consumers ordering new vehicles

The SIMI is forecasting new vehicle volumes to be more or less flat in 2023 reflecting continued supply shortages and a changing macro environment. Bank of Ireland’s outlook remains cautiously optimistic for this important sector and we look forward to supporting our valued customers in 2023 and beyond.

Stephen Healy
Stephen Healy is head of Motoring at Bank of Ireland.