Business

SMMT: Sales of new cars in Northern Ireland 18% up year-on-year

But significant gap remains with pre-pandemic market

The Peugeot 2008 was the best-selling new car in the north during November, according to the latest SMMT data.
The Peugeot 2008 was the best-selling new car in the north during November, according to the latest SMMT data. The Peugeot 2008 was the best-selling new car in the north during November, according to the latest SMMT data.

SALES of new cars in Northern Ireland in 2023 are 18% up on last year, but a significant gap remains with the pre-pandemic market.

New figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 3,248 new cars were registered in the north during the month of November.

That was 455 (15.3%) more vehicles sold than the same month in 2022.

UK-wide, sales in November were 9.5% up on last year.

The 43,380 new cars registered for the first 11 months of the year is also 6,681 (18.2%) up on the corresponding period from 2022.

November and December are traditionally the two quietest months of the year for new car sales.

While the year-on-year sales growth offers an encouraging trend for the industry, particularly against the backdrop of surveys flagging up weakening consumer sentiment, the industry still has some distance to go to recover to pre-Covid 19 levels.

Sales in the first 11 months of 2023 are 6,077 (12.3%) down on the same period from 2019, which was considered a weak performance for the local industry at the time.

The SMMT said the UK-wide sales figure for the year to date is just 0.1% below pre-pandemic levels.

The trade body said the growth was driven by fleets investing in new cars, with registrations rising 25.4%.

But, it said demand from private buyers and businesses fell by 5.9% and 32.7% respectively.

In Northern Ireland, the Peugeot 2008 was the best-selling new car in November 2023, with 172 units sold, ahead of the Renault Captur (138) and Vauxhall Mokka (131).

The rest of the top ten best-selling list included: Ford Kuga (97), Ford Puma (95), Kia Sportage (82), Nissan Qashqai (82), Hyundai Tucson (81), Ford Focus (77) and Renault Arkana (71).