Auto dealers count back to grand reopening with expectations of summer spending madness
PENT-UP demand for new and newer cars could trigger a spending spree in the middle of summer as dealers count down to fully reopen within two weeks.
The ar premises can open for business as usual (with Covid metrics observed) on May 17, but you can make click-and-collect offers starting next Monday as well as doing business at outside.
There is some optimism within the industry that, in addition to pent-up demand, increased personal savings will cause customers to return to showrooms in droves.
The omens are good. Despite the current lockdown, 7,166 new cars were registered last month. That compares to a miser 343 for April 2020 (first lockdown) but the numbers follow the 8,904 recorded for the corresponding month in 2019.
The difference this year from April has been the ability of online sales platforms to allow people to do business and the ability to click and deliver service.
It has been, according to SIMI chief Brian Cooke, “a lifeline for the industry during this difficult time.”
Mr Cooke said: “The gradual reopening of showrooms announced by the government last week has been welcomed by the industry, and retailers are cautiously optimistic about car sales, new and used, in the weeks and months to come. “
He pointed out that car retailing operates in large open spaces, and with low footfall and the capacity for social distancing far beyond the recommended two meters, showrooms are a safe environment for customers.
The latest SIMI figures also show that 55,207 new cars have been registered since the start of the year, against 50,138 for the corresponding period in 2020 (+ 10.11 pc) and 73,030 in 2019 (-24.41 pc).
Used imports continue to sell well with 5,676 recorded last month, although the numbers represent a decrease from 8,887 in April 2019. So far this year, used imports are up by 36, 4% (24,095) in 2020 (17,666) and down 32.54% compared to 2019 (35,719).
The number of new electric cars purchased last month has increased significantly: 596 compared to 50 in April 2020. So far this year, 3,414 new electric cars have been registered – a substantial increase from 1,700 for the corresponding period in 2020.
The SIMI report indicates that sales of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids continue to increase, with their combined market share now standing at 22.61 pc. Diesel is 36.86 pc, gasoline 32.06 pc, hybrid 16.66 pc, electric 6.18 pc and plug-in electric hybrid 5.95 pc.
Meanwhile, the top five selling car brands in April were: 1.Toyota 2.Volkswagen 3. Hyundai 4. Skoda 5. Ford.
The best models were: 1.Hyundai Tucson 2.Toyota Corolla 3.Toyota RAV 4, 4.Ford Focus 5.Volkswagen Tiguan.