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2014 – The Year The Automotive Industry Bounced Back

Well if initial registrations figures for January are correct then we are very much on track. The first released SIMI figures are very promising and are showing a 30%+ lift in car sales compared to last January. This will be the first time since 2010 we have seen significant positive growth in the car market.

2013 saw the roll out of the dual plate registrations 131 and 132. Despite popular belief this change was not due to superstition of the number 13 – it was actually brought about to negate the seasonality of the car market where previously 70% of its sales happened in the first quarter of the year.

So how did the figures stack up for 2013?

Overall the car market was down 6.4% compared to 2012. While this was disappointing the general consensus among industry specialists was that it may have been even worse if it wasn’t for the new registration period. Director General of car dealers’ body SIMI Alan Nolan said “Car sales recovered in the second half of the year after a slow first half with July, the first month of the new dual plate, up 160% on the previous July”

Top brands

Volkswagen finished up with the most car registrations selling 9,492 units – holding a 12.8% SOM for the full year 2013. Toyota and Ford completed the top three selling 7,661 & 7,619 units (10.31% and 10.25% SOM) respectively. Ford was also on top when it came to commercial registrations selling 2,541 commercial vehicles and holding a 22.9% SOM.

Media investment

The total media spend across all car brands for 2013 was €38.3 million. TV (37%) and press (34%) still command the majority of spend, followed (in order) by radio (18%), outdoor (8%) and digital (3% - excluding search and classifieds).

2013 vs. 2012

In 2012 media spend for car brands was just over €40 million resulting in an approximate drop of 4% year on year. However what’s most interesting is the evolution of the media split. The increasing penetration of mobile and tablet devices among consumers has resulted in +33% increase in digital spend year on year.

With the positive January figures and the extremely competitive car finance deals on offer, there is a renewed confidence among the Irish automotive industry.