31 December 2019

Skoda Ireland on 2019 and trends for 2020

Skoda's Vision IV concept electric vehicle.
While the total number of new cars sold in 2019 fell by 6.8pc to 117,031 units compared to 2018, Skoda Ireland is projecting a slightly more optimistic result in 2020, suggesting 120,000 passenger vehicle sales.

The company says the biggest challenge for the industry over the last three years was the 307,900 used imports which indirectly affected the new car market. With the introduction of the new government NOx tax from 1st January, used imports will not be as advantageous as previously. As an example, an imported 2016 Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 4x4 170bhp, regardless of purchase price and excluding currency fluctuations, will be subject to a further €2,400 NOx Tax in addition to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). This is likely to increase the cost significantly of importing a used vehicle.

Skoda Ireland notes that in the last 12 months the sale of electric vehicles has increased nearly threefold, with 3,443 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) delivered in 2019. Diesel powered vehicles accounted for 47pc of all vehicle sales in 2019. With electric vehicle technology, especially battery range and infrastructure still in development, Skoda Ireland expects that petrol and diesel vehicles will likely account for 85pc of new vehicle sales in 2020.

Skoda Superb iV PHEV.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles have seen significant growth in the last 12 months with 1,343 vehicles delivered in 2019, an increase of 85pc on the same period last year. Skoda Ireland are predicting further PHEV sales growth in 2020 with 250 deliveries alone planned of their new Superb iV PHEV.

Automatic transmissions are now becoming much more prevalent in the Irish market, and one in three new cars sold in 2019 was an automatic. This growth can be attributed to changing customer behaviour and improved transmission technologies such as the 7-speed DSG automatics offered in Skoda vehicles.

John Donegan, Brand Director Skoda Ireland, notes that the Skoda brand has enjoyed its most successful year in the Irish market, climbing to fifth position with 9,300 vehicles delivered to customers. "The industry is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Electrification, digitalisation and alternative mobility solutions will provide challenges and opportunities for our brand in the coming years.”