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Automotive Report Ireland 2018

Automotive Report Ireland 2018

  • March 2018
  • ID: 1120423
  • Format: PDF


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  • Ireland's automotive market is relatively large, given its small estimated population of just 4.7m. The country has close commercial and cultural ties to the UK, Europe's fourth-largest vehicle producer. Like the UK, Ireland is a right-hand drive market. As a result, Ireland has no vehicle assembly capacity and is entirely dependent on vehicle imports. There is a small automotive components sector, but even this has shrunk in recent years.
  • The Irish market went through considerable turmoil during a series of economic and financial crises that began in 2007-08. However, after reaching a nadir in 2013, the market recovered strongly in 2014-16. This recovery came to an abrupt end in 2017, when the number of total new vehicles sold dropped by 11.1%. Last year's totals were one-third below 2007 levels.
  • Sales were weakened last year by the Brexit process under way in the UK, with the resulting fall in the value of sterling cutting the price of used car imports in Ireland. However, The Economist Intelligence Unit sees the drop in new vehicle sales as an aberration against the backdrop of a robust Irish economy. With replacement demand still strong, Irish motorists will continue to take advantage of low interest rates in the euro zone, and lower petrol prices. We expect market growth to be slow over the forecast period, however, reflecting a slowdown in real GDP growth. Brexit will remain a dampener on consumer confidence, particularly if there is a knock-on effect on Irish trade.
  • Nevertheless, we expect the market to regain ground this year, with both passenger cars and commercial vehicles (CVs) posting an increase in sales in the 6-7% range. There will be another dip in vehicle sales in 2019 as the economy slows, but it will be small and short lived. Over the 2018-22 forecast period as a whole we expect car sales to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%. CV sales will grow even more slowly, posting a CAGR of 3.5%. Annual vehicle sales in 2022 will remain well below their 2007 levels.

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