New car sales in Northern Ireland fall by 9.4% in past year

The Volkswagen is the top selling car in Northern Ireland this year, with 901 purchased up to May
Gareth McKeown

NEW car sales in Northern Ireland have stalled over the past 12 months according to the latest industry figures.

The number of new cars registered in May fell by almost 10 per cent on the same month in 2016, with a UK wide reverse reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

There were a total of 4,136 new car sales in the north last month, a 9.4 per cent reduction on May 2016 when 4,566 vehicles were purchased.

The new figures also show a 5.8 per cent plunge in new car sales over the year so far. In year up to May 2017 26,401 new cars have been bought, compared to 28,031 for the same period in 2016.

The Volkswagen Golf is now the most popular car in Northern Ireland with 901 registered to date this year, while the Hyundai Tucson was second, closely followed by the Ford Fiesta in third.

Last month the Golf also topped the pile for sales (140), followed again by the Hyundai Tucson (132), with the Nissan Qashqai (119) rounding off the top three.

The UK as a whole saw an 8.5 per cent drop in car sales in May compared to the same month last year according to the SMMT, with the industry body stating the General Election has put potential buyers off.

It is the second consecutive month of decline, after many buyers brought orders forward to March ahead of new vehicle excise duty (VED) rates coming into force.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the decline in new car sales was not a surprise.

"We expected demand in the new car market to remain negative in May due to the pull-forward to March - which was an all-time record month - resulting from VED reform.

"Added to this, the General Election was always likely to give many pause for thought and affect purchasing patterns in the short term.

"Although demand has fallen, it's important to remember that the market remains at a very high level and, with a raft of new models packed with the latest low emission and connected technology coming to market this summer, we expect the market to remain strong over the year."

Top 10 new car registrations in Northern Ireland

Volkswagen Golf 901

Hyundai Tucson 834

Ford Fiesta 831

Ford Focus 677

Kia Sportage 568

Nissan Qashqai 567

Ford Kuga 551

Volkswagen Polo 550

Vauxhall Corsa 537

Renault Kadjar 387

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