Business

NI car dealers harness digital to prevent repeat of lockdown sales wipe-out during January

Some 2,324 new cars were registered in the north during January 2021.
Ryan McAleer

CAR dealers across the north have turned digital during the latest lockdown to prevent a repeat of the near complete wipe-out seen across the industry in April and May last year.

Despite car showrooms being forced to close under the health regulations introduced in December, some 2,324 new cars were registered here last month according the latest industry data.

It compares with the 24 new cars sold across the entire industry in Northern Ireland in April 2020. Just 144 were recorded in May.

But the north’s largest dealerships have since adopted digital showrooms and introduced contactless sales, allowing customers to complete all necessary paperwork online and either collect vehicles from a secure handover area or have it home delivered.

But despite the innovation, sales of new cars were still 53.8 per cent down on January 2020, when 5,030 new cars were registered.

The data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed the decline in the north was much more severe than the UK average, where new vehicle sales were down by around 40 per cent, the industry’s worst ever start to a calendar year since 1970.

Last month the SMMT confirmed that Northern Ireland dealers sold 15,000 fewer cars in 2020 than in 2019.

The industry body said yesterday that the Volkswagen Golf was the best-selling new car to date in 2021, with 92 registered ahead of the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan (all 71).

 

Top 10 New Car Registrations in Northern Ireland - January 2021

 

Rank

Marque

Range

Month End

1

VOLKSWAGEN

GOLF

92

2

KIA

SPORTAGE

71

3

NISSAN

QASHQAI

71

4

VOLKSWAGEN

TIGUAN

71

5

VOLVO

XC40

57

6

BMW

1 SERIES

51

7

BMW

3 SERIES

48

8

TOYOTA

YARIS

46

9

FORD

FIESTA

45

 

PEUGEOT

2008

45

 

VAUXHALL

GRANDLAND X

45

10

VOLKSWAGEN

T-ROC

45

 

 

TOTAL NORTHERN IRELAND MONTH

                  687

 

 

TOTAL MONTH END

               2,324

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