Grim outlook for Kilkenny motor industry as car sales plummet
By COLIN BARTLEY
THE short-term outlook for Kilkenny’s motor industry looks challenging after local dealers recorded a substantial drop in new car sales in the first six months of the year.
The forecast for the rest of 2019 and 2020 is not promising either, according to the Quarterly Motor Industry Review just released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
The report by leading economist Jim Power revealed new car registrations are down 10% in Kilkenny for the first six months of the year. The national average decrease is 7.4% (80,712).
New car sales are plummeting due to the rise in the numbers of Irish people importing used cars (53,119), up 2.4% in the first six months of the year.
Mr Power believes that, if this trend continues, it could cost thousands of jobs in the motor industry and have a serious impact on Government revenues.
The economist has forecast a challenging year ahead for the industry.
“Based on the information available at the moment and the projections for the economy, the new car market could decline from 125,557 in 2018 to around 115,500 in 2019,” Mr Power said.
“For 2020, based on a central scenario, new car sales could decline by over 9% to 105,000. Failure to adjust VRT bands could see the new car market decline to 75,000. Such a decline would have a devastating impact on many businesses that barely survived the last recession. It would cost thousands of jobs in towns and cities around the country, and would have a very negative impact on the Exchequer revenues.”