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Ireland: Auto Sector Frantic, 55% Decline in Passenger Car Sales
Dec 05, 2008

Car sales in Ireland slid 55% in October 2008 as a result of global economic slowdown and prospering black marketing activities in the country.

According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi), sales of new cars in Ireland plunged approximately 55% in October 2008 on YOY basis, as reported by IrishTimes.

As compared to 3,849 new cars sold in October 2007, only 1,748 new cars were sold in October 2008. During Jan-Oct 2008, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales came down to 29,335 Units, following a decline of 32% while registrations of heavy vehicles declined by 31% to 3,427 Units.

Although the sales figure of 150,790 passenger cars, during the period of Jan-Oct 2008, is not extremely bad, it is still 18% less in comparison to 184,394 cars sold during the same period last year.

The primary reason for the declining car sales in Ireland is the economic slowdown resulted from the global financial turmoil. Automobile dealers are feeling the heat of weakening confidence of the consumers in the economy, as the consumers in Ireland are opting to buy fewer new cars. Further, the lack of mortgage also added to the decline in the auto industry of the country.

Moreover, illegal activities of black marketing are soaring in the automobile industry of Ireland. Also, the unlawful and unregistered roadside selling and the illegal imported vehicles running on the roads are common sight in the country. This is affecting the country’s authentic automobile businesses as the unregistered imported cars are making the Exchequer, a part of government that manages and collects revenues, to loose between €50 Million and €100 Million. The job opportunities in the automobile sector are also impacted.

It is expected that vehicle sales will further slid down in 2009. According to a prediction, sale of passenger cars in 2009 would be 100,000-110,000 Units as compared to the estimated sale of 151,000 Units in 2008 and 186,000 Units in 2007.

According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “The worst financial situation in the global market is affecting the automobile industry of Ireland badly. Further, black marketing activities are also evenly damaging this particular sector of the country. Above all, in the absence of any strict law, such illegal activities are flourishing in Ireland.”

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