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Automotive Retailing - Ireland - April 2019

Covered in this report

This report will examine the retailing of cars to private individuals in Ireland, and therefore excludes sales to businesses or operators of company car fleets. It is exclusively focused on cars, and therefore excludes any discussion of the market for light commercial or other goods vehicles and motorcycles. The retailing of cars takes place through the following distribution channels:

  • Franchised new car dealers – those under contract to specific car manufacturers or importers
  • Multi-franchise new car dealers – those with contracts that enable them to sell the products of more than one manufacturer
  • Independents – dealers that sell used vehicles from various manufacturers, some of which specialise in nearly-new or pre-registered cars
  • Second-hand dealers – those selling any make of used car, of any age
  • Automotive auctions – these are mainly used by motor dealers to buy their own stock, but some private individuals also purchase cars through auctions

“Growing negativity around diesel vehicles will see manufacturers produce fewer diesel cars in the coming years and more alternative-fuelled vehicles as eco-conscious consumers increasingly switch to cleaner-fuelled cars to reduce their carbon footprint and play their part in tackling issues such as poor air quality and climate change.”
– James Wilson, Research Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • UK/NI consumers see the cost of buying a car increase
  • Personal contract purchasing a popular source of car financing
  • RoI introduces ‘diesel tax’ in 2019
  • Irish consumers see finances weaken in 2018

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Total new car registrations, NI and RoI, 2014-19
          • Forecast
            • Figure 2: Indexed total new car registrations, NI and RoI, 2014-24
          • Market factors
            • UK/NI consumers see the cost of buying a car increase
              • Personal contract purchasing a popular source of car financing
                • RoI introduces ‘diesel tax’ in 2019
                  • Irish consumers see finances weaken in 2018
                    • Companies and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Ownership of cars high in NI and RoI
                          • Figure 3: Ownership of a car, NI and RoI, December 2018
                          • Figure 4: Reasons why consumers do not currently personally own a car, NI and RoI, December 2018
                        • Second-hand cars popular in RoI
                          • Figure 5: When consumers bought their car, and if it was new or second-hand, NI and RoI, December 2018
                        • Engine type of future car tied to region
                          • Figure 6: Desired fuel type for future car purchase, NI and RoI, December 2018
                        • High level of concern about device usage when driving
                          • Figure 7: Agreement with statements relating to cars, NI and RoI, December 2018
                        • What we think
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • New car sales continue to fall in 2018
                            • Cost of new cars rises in NI, falls in RoI
                              • Budget surcharge to increase price of diesel cars in RoI
                                • Irish consumers are less secure financially
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                    • New car registrations fall in 2018
                                      • Figure 8: Total new car registrations, IoI, NI and RoI, 2014-24
                                    • Growth to return to new car market from 2020
                                      • Figure 9: Indexed total new car registrations, NI and RoI, 2014-24
                                    • Used cars being imported to RoI continue to grow
                                      • Figure 10: Number of used cars imported, RoI, 2014-18
                                      • Figure 11: Proportion of used (imported) cars vs new car registrations, RoI, 2017 and 2018
                                    • Volkswagen the most popular car brand in RoI
                                      • Figure 12: New car registrations, by top 10 brands of cars, RoI, 2014-18
                                    • Ford continues to dominate the UK/NI market
                                      • Figure 13: Manufacturer shares of new car registrations, UK (including NI), 2014-18
                                    • Consumers buying more sustainably fuelled cars
                                      • Figure 14: Sales of new cars, by fuel type, UK (including NI), 2014-18
                                      • Figure 15: New car registrations, by engine type, RoI, 2014-18
                                    • Larger vehicles grow in popularity
                                      • Figure 16: Top-selling types of cars (body type), RoI, 2014-18
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Car prices rising in UK/NI
                                      • Figure 17: Car price inflation vs new and second-hand cars, UK (including NI), January 2017-January 2019
                                      • Figure 18: Consumer price index vs car prices, RoI, January 2017-January 2019
                                    • Fuel prices continue to rise in 2018
                                      • Figure 19: Annualised road fuel prices (monthly), for unleaded petrol and diesel, NI, 2014-18
                                      • Figure 20: Annualised road fuel prices (monthly), for unleaded petrol and diesel, RoI, 2014-18
                                    • Irish consumers’ personal finances squeezed in 2018
                                      • Figure 21: Financial health of Irish consumers, NI, January and December 2018
                                      • Figure 22: Financial health of Irish consumers, RoI, January and December 2018
                                    • Loans are a key source of funding car purchases
                                      • Figure 23: Top five reasons consumers took out their most recent loan, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                    • Usage of PCP deals increases in RoI
                                      • Figure 24: Number of personal contract purchase contracts issued, RoI, 2015 and 2016
                                    • New vehicle testing system introduced in the UK/NI and RoI
                                      • RoI introduces additional diesel surcharge in 2019 Budget
                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                        • Leading brands focusing on developing more Electric Vehicles
                                          • New showrooms from leading dealerships opening in NI
                                            • Nissan Ireland calls for import ban on pre-2014 cars from the UK
                                              • Toyota hybrids in Ireland recalled after discovery of fault
                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                • Audi Ireland dealerships become the first to offer augmented reality
                                                  • Car brands respond to changing car ownership model
                                                    • Arnold Clark using app to help electric drivers
                                                      • Personalised driver health statistics being leveraged from wearable tech
                                                      • Competitive Strategies – Key Players

                                                          • Agnew Group
                                                            • Key facts
                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                • Audi Ireland
                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                      • BMW Ireland
                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                            • Charles Hurst
                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                                  • Donnelly Group
                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                        • Ford Ireland
                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                              • Mercedes-Benz Ireland
                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                    • Motor Service Limited Group
                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                                                          • Nissan Ireland
                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                                                • Opel – Vauxhall
                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                                      • Peugeot Ireland
                                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                            • Renault Ireland
                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                  • Tesla
                                                                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                        • Toyota Ireland
                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                              • Volkswagen Ireland
                                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                    • Most Irish consumers own a car
                                                                                                                                                      • NI consumers interested in petrol and diesel cars, AFVs popular in RoI
                                                                                                                                                        • Minority of consumers willing to pay for added technology features
                                                                                                                                                        • Car Ownership and When Last Car was Purchased

                                                                                                                                                            • Majority of Irish consumers own a car
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Ownership of a car, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Car ownership highest among rural consumers
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Ownership of a car, by location, NI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Ownership of a car, by location, RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • NI consumers most likely to buy new when purchasing a car
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: When consumers bought their car, and if it was new or second-hand, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Young consumers most likely to have recently bought a used car
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Consumers who own a car, which they bought second-hand less than two years ago, by age, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Car ownership dependent on having a licence
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Reasons why consumers do not currently personally own a car, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Licence ownership lowest among C2DEF consumers
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Consumers who do not currently have a driving licence, by social class, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Fuel Preference for Future Car Purchase

                                                                                                                                                              • Petrol and diesel cars remain popular, but consumers interested in AFVs
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Desired fuel type for future car purchase, NI and RoI, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                                              • Diesel cars appeal to rural consumers
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Consumers who would consider buying a diesel engine car in future, by location, NI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Consumers who would consider buying a diesel engine car in future, by location, RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Affluence an impact on future car fuel type
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Desired fuel type for future car purchase, by social class, NI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Desired fuel type for future car purchase, by social class, RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Cars

                                                                                                                                                                • Device usage while driving a concern for Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Agreement with statements relating to cars, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent consumers loyal to car brands
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Agreement with the statement ‘The next car I buy will be the same brand as my current car’, by social class, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Environmental concerns see urban consumers use cars less
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Agreement with the statement ‘Environmental reasons have caused me to use my car less’, by location, NI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement ‘Environmental reasons have caused me to use my car less’, by location, RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Young drivers will pay for cars with enhanced smartphone compatibility
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to pay extra for a car with enhanced smartphone compatibility’, by age, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Agreement with the statement ‘I am interested in fitting my car with in-car Wi-Fi’, by age, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                  • Market size rationale
                                                                                                                                                                    • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                      Automotive Retailing - Ireland - April 2019

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