Demand for new cars in Northern Ireland slips back 3.4 per cent in July

New car sales dipped by 2.5 per cent in Northern Ireland in July according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Gary McDonald Business Editor

NORTHERN Ireland was the only region in the UK to see demand for new cars fall last month, figures show.

Some 3,714 new cars were registered in July compared with 3,811 during the same month in 2017, a reverse of 3.4 per cent, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

By contrast, sales rose in England (+ 0.5 per cent), Scotland (+ 8.2 per cent) and Wales (+ 9.9 per cent), leading to an overall UK sales increase of 1.2 per cent, with a total of163,898 new cars leaving showrooms.

Registrations in Northern Ireland are down 3.4 per cent this year compared with the first seven months of last year (34,706 against 35,933), which is better than the overall UK figure of 5.5 per cent.

The SMMT said this is "broadly in line with expectations as demand begins to level out".

Sales of petrol models increased by 20.1 per cent last month, while diesels fell for the 16th consecutive month, down 24.4 per cent.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrids and pure electrics increased by 21 per cent to take a market share of 6.5 per cent.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "The feel-good factor from a sun and sport-packed July, combined with some fantastic deals on a raft of exciting new models, clearly helped keep showrooms relatively busy last month.

"It's great to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this growth, and government's acknowledgement of the vital role new-tech diesel will play in its Road to Zero strategy should help even more motorists benefit from the latest, safest and low emission technology over the coming months."

Top-selling cars in Northern Ireland in July were:

1 Nissan Qashqai

2 Ford Kuga

3 Ford Fiesta

4 Volkswagen Golf

5 Toyota Yaris

6 Kia Sportage

7 Volkswagen Polo

8 Hyundai Tuscon

9 Renault Captur

10 Seat Leon

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