* See the Top 100 best-selling models and all brands by clicking on the title! *
In 2013 Ireland tried out a new bi-annual license plate system aligned with the UK, with mixed results: the market is down 7% on 2012 to 74,091 registrations. This year saw Volkswagen establish its domination of the Irish new car market. On one hand it is the #1 brand like in 2012 but from a mere 75 units last year, its advantage over #2 brand Toyota jumped to 1,843 sales in 2013. On the other hand, this may sound crazy but the VW Golf becomes the #1 best-seller in the country potentially for the first time since the nameplate was launched almost 40 years ago! My records date back to 1993 and do not feature the Golf in pole position over that period… This means the 7th generation of the model, only in its first full year of sales, could already be the most successful to date with 3,605 sales and 4.9 share.
Can the new generation push the Nissan Qashqai to pole position in 2014?
The Nissan Qashqai is up one further spot on a record-breaking 2012 result to reach an all-time high 2nd place even though its sales are down 11% to 2,944 and 4% share. Leader for the past two years and during 10 of the past 12 years, the Ford Focus is kicked down to third place in 2013 at 2,871 units and 3.9%, down 23% on 2012. Both the Ford Fiesta at #4 and Toyota Auris at #5 are up 12% and 4 spots on 2012, while the Opel Astra makes its return within the Top 10 best-sellers at #8 (+9) and the BMW 5 Series breaks into it for the first time at #10 (+5), even topping the charts in August and September!
Launched in January, the Dacia Duster peaked at #2 in October!
The other big event in Ireland this year is the launch of low-cost French-Romanian brand Dacia, 9 years after its reintroduction in Europe by Renault, met with great success: it sells 1,286 units for a 1.7% market share over the Full Year, ahead of Citroen, Honda, Volvo, Suzuki and Mini! The Duster even manages an incredible second spot in October, finishes the year at #28 while the Sandero ranks #60… Other great performers this year in Ireland include the Kia Sportage up 8 spots to #12, Hyundai i30 up 46% to #18, BMW 3 Series up 27% to #21, Toyota RAV4 up 172% to #36 and Hyundai Santa Fe up 152% to #37. Noticeable newcomers into the Top 100 include the Skoda Rapid at #39, Opel Mokka at #50 and Seat Toledo at a word-best #51.
Previous month: Ireland November 2013: Nissan Note #10 in dead market
One year ago: Ireland Full Year 2012: Ford Focus retains crown
Two years ago: Ireland Full Year 2011: Ford Focus reclaims pole position
December Top 10 and Full Year 2013 Top 100 models and Top 35 All-brands Ranking Tables below.