DUBLIN, Ireland an. 12 (Xinhua) -- A total of 84,309 units of new private cars were sold in Ireland in 2020, down 25.6 percent compared with 2019, said the country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Tuesday.
The number of used private cars sold in the country also fell sharply in the year, down 27.9 percent from 108,895 units in 2019 to 78,541 units in 2020, said the CSO in a press statement.
Overall sales of new and used private cars in Ireland in 2020 stood at 162,850 units, the lowest figure recorded since 2015, it said.
But the CSO figures showed continued growth in the sales of electric and hybrid cars in 2020.
The combined sales of these two types of vehicles accounted for 19.7 percent of all the new cars sold in Ireland in 2020, compared with 12.7 percent in 2019, said the CSO, adding that a total of 12,654 new hybrid cars and 3,940 new electric cars were sold in the country in 2020, up 16.1 percent and 14.4 percent respectively over a year ago.
Noreen Dorgan, a statistician with the CSO, attributed the overall drop in the sales of new private cars in the country mainly to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ireland has been placed under a nationwide lockdown three times since the pandemic hit the country in late February of 2020. Under the lockdowns, all the non-essential retail outlets, including car dealers, have to be shut down, causing a huge loss for local car dealers.
The continued growth in the sales of electric and hybrid cars largely has something to do with legislation proposed by the Irish government in early 2020, under which the government plans to ban the sales of fossil fuel cars in the country in 2030 and forbid the use of them in 2045 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
CSO figures also showed that Volkswagen was the most popular make of all the new private cars sold in Ireland in 2020, followed by Toyota, Hyundai, Skoda and Ford.
There are few Chinese cars being sold in Ireland, but there do exist some vehicle dealers in the country, that are engaged in the sales of China-made goods vehicles.
One of the largest such dealers is the Dublin-based Harris Group, which currently sells China-made light-duty goods vehicles here. The group is not immediately available for its China-made vehicle sales figures in 2020.
Denise Harris, owner of the Harris Group, had told Xinhua that she was optimistic about the market prospect of the China-made light-duty goods vehicles in Ireland and other European countries due to their very competitive prices.
Ireland sold a total of 21,495 new goods vehicles and 10,710 other new vehicles in 2020, down 12.8 percent and 9.2 percent respectively over 2019, according to CSO.