Hyundai Tucson fell from the new car sales top-spot in March

Sales are down across the board...

Hyundai Tucson fell from the new car sales top-spot in March

Hyundai, Facebook

Official stats from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that new car registrations fell by almost 7.5% last month, compared to 2016.

During the first quarter, sales were down by 8.28% as 75,967 new cars were sold.

The Hyundai Tucson was the highest selling model in February - but it was overtaken by the Nissan Qashqai last month.

The South Korean Tucson was the top-selling car in Ireland in 2016 - but it was also pipped by the Qashqai in January. Despite the Nissan model being the top selling model in both January and March - the Tucson has been the highest selling car in 2017.

Top selling 171 models so far:

1. Hyundai Tucson

2. Nissan Qashqai

3. Ford Focus

4. Skoda Octavia

5. Volkswagen Golf

Ford Focus

The top selling manufacturers so far this year:

1. Toyota

2. Ford

3. Volkswagen

4. Hyundai

5. Nissan

"We have previously indicated that the extent of the apparent fall in registrations over recent weeks were at least in part a question of timing, as in 2016 Easter had fallen in March with the result that the seasonal registration of Hire-drive fleets was always going to be later this year," SIMI Director General, Alan Nolan said commenting on the figures.

The group warned that, "Although the Irish Economy is flying at the moment the car market also requires positive consumer sentiment, which peaked in the early part of 2016, but has, according to the ESRI, been edging slightly lower, in a 'one step forward two steps back' process since then."

Mr Nolan added that, "things have stopped getting worse but consumers may not have seen a clear improvement in their own circumstances."

SIMI believes that, "consumers remain cautiously positive in their outlook."