Belfast Telegraph

Car sales drop down 8% from 2015 in Northern Ireland

By Rachel Martin

New car sales in Northern Ireland slumped last month - down 8% on last July.

The fall has been one of the most dramatic drops seen.

And it comes just months after the industry saw one of its busiest starts to a year in over a decade. In January, UK new car sales hit an 11-year high.

Around 3,900 new cars were sold here last month, according to latest figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

And that was down 7.74% on the same month the year before, even though the industry had been revving up over the previous five months. Despite the bumper start to the year, the news brings overall sales figures for 2016 so far back down to around the same level seen in the first six months of 2015.

In March, an increase in sales in Northern Ireland was put down to growing consumer confidence.

The latest figures come days after a report by GFK claimed July saw the biggest drop in consumer confidence across the UK for more than 26 years.

It found confidence dropped the most in Scotland and the least in Northern Ireland since the Brexit vote - reflected in Scotland's July car sales which were hit the hardest in the UK.

So far this year, more than 37,600 new cars have been sold, 233 more than the year before - an increase of just 0.61%.

Last month saw a return to the top for Volkswagen, with the Golf topping the chart as the most popular car to be bought new in July, jumping up from fourth place in the top 10 here in June.

But it wasn't enough to put the brand into the pole position for the year so far, where last month's most popular car - the Ford Fiesta - retained its reign.

All of June's top 10 most popular cars saw a drop in sales last month. Ford saw the biggest drop, with 132 fewer Fiestas driving off the forecourt last month.

June's second most popular car, the Hyundai Tucson, also sold 94 fewer units as it lost ground to Nissan's Quashai - this month's second most popular car.

Across the UK, a total of 178,523 new cars were sold last month, evenly split between petrol and diesel models.

Across the UK, the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling car, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra.

Belfast Telegraph