The latest figures from the Motorcheck.ie Car Index show that registration figures for new cars have significanty dropped since the end of the popular scrappage scheme on June 30th.
Comparing figures for July 2011 with that of 2010 we can see that the market has dropped 32% demonstrating the importance of the scrappage scheme to the market last year. The question is what will happen next?
Can the industry hold on to the 2,200 jobs created by the scrappage scheme or are we likely to see further closures as sales dwindle?
What do those on the ground think?
I asked a selection of industry insiders for their view on the current state of the market.
The key thing we are missing however are sales of commercial vehicles which would have been a very important part of the business in years gone by.
The jury's out on what the buyer mentality is in a post-scrappage market but we would remain hopeful for a good start to 2012. ”
– Nigel Brennan, Huton and Meade
From our perspective we're glad to see some normality coming back to the market. We're experiencing significantly more interest in used cars now that the price of new cars has stabilized.
We expect Honda to experience some growth come back now that the pitch is level again. Sales levels for us are 'okay'. No boom - No bust!
2012 will be an important year for us as the line up will never be as good. The Landrover Evoque comes to town in September and we expect a lot from that car. It will retail at €45,000 in tax band C. The Range Rover Sport and the Landrover Discovery also benefit from lower emissions with a drop in their tax bracket making them significantly more attractive. ”
– Robert Bradley, Bradley Motors
It would be a disappointing step backward if any negative stigma reappeared around the purchase of a new car.
Government needs to understand that as an industry we are still at a very low ebb and sales in excess of 100,000 units will be required to hold onto jobs. "
– Bill Keary, Keary Motors
It looks as if the number of cars that went out on hire drive this year has virtually doubled so I would expect that the return of these cars next month will put serious pressure on brand new registrations.
After sales and Second Hand sales have become a significant part of our business but a lack of finance is still causing the industry some difficulty.
I predict a difficult year for the industry in 2012. "
– Padraig Mooney, Mooneys