Cars coming to Independent garages in 2024

January 08, 2024
Cars coming to Independent garages in 2024 The split in terms of power source in 2019 was 46.6% diesel, 40.6% petrol, Hybrids, including plug-in hybrids were less than 10% of new car sales, while EV's were just 3,444, representing only 2.9% of the market
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With many manufacturers now offering extended warranties, five years is roughly the average amount of time it takes for a new car to move from the Dealer to the Independent Aftermarket. So for Independents, it is not so much what new car sales are doing now, as to what they were doing five years ago that really matters.   


Total new car sales in 2019 and 2018 were 117,109 and 126,671 respectively. Interestingly, the split in terms of power source in 2019 was 46.6% diesel and 40.6% petrol. Hybrids, including plug-in hybrids were less than 10% of new car sales, while battery electric car sales were just 3,444, representing only 2.9% of the market. With electric sales at less than a 1% share in 2018, it is likely that independent workshops will only see a slight trickle, rather than a flood when it comes to EV servicing in 2024. However, garages should take note that the 10% hybrid share is at the start of a trend that has seen this figure rise to some 29% in 2023. 

Another significant trend starting to take shape in 2018/2019, was in vehicle transmissions. In 2018, automatic transmissions accounted for just over a quarter of new car sales. This percentage share jumped to 33% in 2019 and 40% in 2020. Today it stands at 64%, with the majority of cars automatic. This means that automatic transmission servicing, is an area which is likely to move from niche importance to independent garages, to an area of very significant income potential, making it something where investment in equipment and training would seem wise.
 
Back in 2019, top of the manufacturer sales tables was Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Skoda, making up the top five. In terms of models, the trend towards SUVs was only starting to take shape and the more traditional Toyota Corolla was leading the way, with sales of 4,406 units, significantly ahead of the Hyundai Tucson on 3,828 and Nissan Qashqai on 3,748. Other top ten sellers were the VW Tiguan, Skoda Octavia, Hyundai Kona, VW Golf, Ford Focus and two more Toyota models, the Yaris and CH-R. The top all electric model at the time was the Nissan Leaf, which came in at 35th on the list. 

Used imports - in 2019, an incredible 113,926 used imports entered Ireland, with 100,755 in 2018. By comparison, the 2023 import figure will most likely be less than 43,000. The vast majority of the cars imported in 2019 were diesel powered (71%). It is also interesting to note the make-up of the imports, which included a high number of premium models. 6,175 VW Golfs were brought in, as well as Ford Focus 5,626, Nissan Qashqai 4,161, BMW 5 Series 3,334 and Audi A6 3,246. Also in the top 10 imports were the Audi A4, Mercedes E Class, Mercedes C Class, VW Passat and BMW 3 Series. These imports represent a very significant share of the overall car parc and the fact there are many premium models featured indicates owners who will take care of, and spend on their vehicles. 

So while EV's may claim the current headlines, it will still be many years until EV servicing will be a mainstay for most independent garages. In 2024, basic service and maintenance for a more traditional car parc will once again be the bread and butter of most workshops. Added to this, will be increasing repair work in areas such as diesel injection, DPFs, steering and suspension, braking, clutch and transmission on a car population that will, once again, be significantly increasing in age.
 
Cars coming to Independent garages in 2024
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