22 July 2020

'Casualties' in motor trade forecast

A reduction in the number of car dealerships in Ireland at the end of this year and through 2021 is being forecast by Deloitte Ireland, writes Brian Byrne.

In a report published today, Ireland’s Motor Industry – Driving Forward, the company says that redundancies in the Irish motor trade 'will be unavoidable'. "As it is perceived there are too many independent dealers to service the current levels of demand, there will likely be some consolidation of dealerships in the medium term,” says Andrew Byrne, Director, Financial Advisory at Deloitte.

He says that new car sales are reducing globally and Ireland is no exception. There will be significant reduction in new car sales this year — for the fourth consecutive year — coupled with a possible slowdown in the second-hand market over the coming 12 months. "Considering the level of overall economic uncertainty over and above this, it is difficult to see that that there won’t be casualties in this sector emerging in late 2020 or 2021. This will likely result in an overall reduction in the numbers of branded and independent motor dealers.”

The report also suggests that Irish car buyers will be seeking higher-spec, second-hand vehicles rather than opting for new vehicles. In addition, almost six in 10 of Irish consumers have indicated they were planning to keep their current vehicle longer than originally expected, up 1pc since the previous index.