The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released their latest, official new vehicle statistics: in May 2021, 5,955 new cars were registered in Ireland compared to 1,741 in May 2020 and 6,320 in May 2019.

The latest SIMI figures showed 5,955 new cars were registered in May this year compared to 1,741 in May 2020 and 6,320 in May 2019.

Year-to-date, 61,147 new cars registered year to date compared to 51,879 for the same period in 2020 (+17.9%) and 79,350 in 2019 (-22.9%).

The trade body indicated that “to present a more accurate picture of the new vehicle registrations, it is important to compare registrations totals with the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID) when businesses were fully operational”.

6,032 used cars were imported in May 2021, compared with 858 imports in May 2020, a decrease on the 9,347 imports in May 2019. Year to date used imports are up 62.63% (30,126) on 2020 (18,524) and down 33.15% on 2019 (45,066).

In May, 541 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 147 in May 2020. So far this year 3,952 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 1,847 on the same period 2020. Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with a combined figure of over 23.09%. Diesel now accounts for 36.39%, Petrol 31.89%, Hybrid 16.63%, Electric 6.46% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 6.21%

Light Commercials Vehicles (LCV) saw an increase of 2,316 registrations compared to May last year 500 and 1,717 for the same month in 2019. Year to date 16,040 new LCVs were registered an increase on last year’s 10,000 (+60.4%) and 14,570 on 2019 (+10.1%).

There were 202 registrations of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) in May compared to 95 in May 2020 and 298 May 2019. Year to date HGVs’ registrations sit at 1,426 compared with 1,099 in 2020 (+29.75%) and 1,487 in 2019 (-4.1%).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, commented: “New vehicle registrations for May were encouraging, with strong growth in both the passenger and commercial vehicle sectors when compared to last year. However, new car sales year to date are still 23% behind pre-COVID 2019. The re-opening of car showrooms to customers and the expected boost to consumer spending has allowed for the completion of deals previously in the pipeline and sees retailers optimistic for both new and used vehicle sales for the balance of this year and into 2022. It is hugely encouraging to see the increase in the sale of Electric Cars and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVS), with Electric Vehicle sales for the first five months of the year close to the full year volume for 2020, and further growth is expected as the year progresses. In this context and with the announcement of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan imminent, it is vital that the Plan includes ambitious State funding for the EV Project, both in terms of the rolling out of national EV charging infrastructure as well as vehicle grant supports for both private and corporate car buyers.”