* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 275 All-models by clicking on the title *
In its fourth year of bi-annual license plate system, the Irish new car market shoots up 17% to 146.603, with a record 39.722 sales in January (+33%) and 29.683 in July (+8%). In other words 47% of annual sales are registered during the two months of license plate change. Thanks to sales up 18% year-on-year, Toyota takes the lead of the models ranking with 15.530 units and 10.6% share but the fight was intense with Hyundai up 34% to 15.442, Volkswagen up 0.2% to 15.411 and Ford up 21% to 14.603. In fact, Toyota ranked as low as third by end-November, leapfrogging both Hyundai and Volkswagen to end the year in pole position. Skoda (+21%), Renault (+38%) and Kia (+22%) also impress, with Mercedes (+44%), Mazda (+35%), Volvo (+28%), Suzuki (+43%), Land Rover (+51%), Jaguar (+108%) and Ssangyong (+103%) posting some of the largest gains in market.
The models ranking is the theatre of a historical and unexpected win by the all-new Hyundai Tucson: after a launch in late 2015 assembling just 65 buyers, the Tucson dominates the Irish sales charts head and shoulders in 2016 with an astounding 7.425 sales. This is only the second time an Asian nameplate takes the lead of the Irish sales charts after the Toyota Corolla ranked #1 in 2004, and the very first time a Korean model does so. The Tucson has simply struck a chord with Irish car buyers, and also ranks third in Northern Ireland. For comparison, its predecessor the Hyundai ix35 ranked #8 in 2015. The VW Golf, leader for the past three years, is knocked down to #2 while the Ford Focus is also down one spot to #3. The Renault Kadjar surges to #13 for its first full year in market vs. #12 in France, with the Ford Kuga (+321%), Skoda Superb (+67%) and Nissan X-Trail (+133%) all posting spectacular gains. Among newcomers, the Toyota C-HR makes a splash by topping the overall charts both in November (73 sales) and December (157 sales 36.5% share) – granted, the two weakest months of the year – edging Toyota into the annual pole position. Could this be 2017’s leader?
Previous month: Ireland November 2016: Toyota C-HR lands in pole position
Previous year: Ireland Full Year 2015: VW Golf and Ford Focus in the lead
Full Year 2016 Top 35 All-brands and Top 275 All-models vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.