Bluestone News

Petrol makes a comeback in 2018

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In the motor industry, January is perhaps the important month of the year. Just a couple of weeks into 2019 and already many of you may have noticed 191 registered cars appearing on our roads.

With the new car sales season in full swing, Bluestone Motor Finance is delighted to sponsor the Done Deal Motor Industry Review 2018, with the full report published today.

Access to robust data is central to gaining a thorough understanding of what is developing in the Irish car market. And having processed over 70 million car searches in 2018, Done Deal is in pole position to provide us with a comprehensive understanding of where the industry is currently at.

The main finding of the review is that there were over 640,000 car sales last year, a total which was down 3.6% on 2017. This decline is in keeping with figures released recently by the Society of Irish Motor Industry which showed that sales of new cars fell by 4.4% in 2018, a reduction which was largely attributed to Brexit and the associated weakness of Sterling.

The Done Deal review highlights a number of structural market dynamics including evidence that 2018 was the year that petrol fuelled cars made a comeback. Following a number of years marked by rising fuel tax and a preference for alternatives, the number of petrol cars sold last year rose by 20%. In 2018, petrol cars accounted for 38% of car sales, the highest market share since 2008.

The return of petrol came largely at the expense of diesel, which finished the year with 54% of the market, the second consecutive year of decline and down from 74% in 2012.

A notable statistic to arise from the Done Deal review was the number of searches in 2018 for electric and hybrid cars which surpassed 2 million, more than double the amount of searches in the previous year. It is a trend which is likely to continue although when surveyed, 51% of respondents said they were considering buying a diesel car in 2019.

In terms of individual marques, Volkswagen led the way with over 87,000 car sales in 2018 or the equivalent of 13.8% market share. VW was followed by Toyota (11.5%), Ford (11.2%), Nissan (7.8%), and Audi (5.9%).

The Done Deal review also conducted research into which car best held its value with the Skoda Octavia coming out on top with a just 22% depreciation since 2015.

Overall, the review shows that the industry remains robust as you might expect given current economic growth levels and with an economy that is nearing full employment. Brexit is by far and away the single biggest unknown facing the industry and it may continue to overhang the market in the year ahead.

At Bluestone Motor Finance, we are pleased to note that almost 10% of respondents in the Done Deal survey said they intended to finance car purchases by way of hire purchase. As a specialist provider of motor finance, we experienced strong double digit growth in 2018 which enabled us to gain market share. If you are interested in learning more about Bluestone Motor Finance, please do hesitate to contact us at 01 644 8951.  

Finally, we would like to thank Done Deal for producing a comprehensive and authoritative report which we are delighted to sponsor. Bluestone Motor Finance looks forward to working closely with Done Deal in 2019.