New year can often means new car, but recently published figures have shown that Fermanagh motorists are keeping faith with their runabouts for longer than usual in these uncertain economic times.
Numbers from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reveal a double digit percentage drop in new car sales in the North.
Last month saw 5,030 new cars leaving local show rooms. Not bad going you might think, but that’s a big drop on the 5,660 sold in January 2018.
In percentage terms Northern Irish car sales fell by 11.1 percent year-on-year well over the 7.3 percent figure for the UK as a whole.
The fall is thought to be down to a number of factors, including government policy regarding diesel and electric cars, continued Brexit uncertainty and weak consumer confidence.
Last week saw UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston saying he planned to bring forward the proposed ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, five years ahead of schedule.
However, with Fermanagh motorists still concerned about range anxiety, appetite for the switch to electric vehicles remains low in the county.
The upshot is the poorest figures since 2006, a fact made all the more concerning by the fact that January is traditionally one of the business months in the calendar for car sales.
Local car dealers have spoken of concern that the soft start to 2020 could be a sign of things to come this year.
The market does continue to bump along though and the traditional big sellers continue to shift respectable numbers of new units.
Ford and Volkswagen topped the charts in terms of cars sold with old favourites like the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf continuing to sell strongly. Almost 200 Fiestas were sold with 150 new Golfs registered.
Posted: 4:54 pm February 11, 2020