The Car Industry Implosion

One of the reasons I long predicted 100k max new cars next year …before I revised that down as too optimistic …is that there is a thriving import industry despite the high VRT barrier. I only got the hard numbers for imported second hand cars today from the Indo .

Part of the rise has been caused by sterlings fall but the other components are

  1. UK cars are much higher spec than ours in many cases, why ?
  2. No more mystique , the rise of quasi auction clearing operations like Cargiant who run comprehensive pre sale checks has made the process into a weekend shopping trip .
  3. A UK car from a given year is generally in better condition and with lower mileage than an Irish car from the same year . … 73695.html

Gross Imports of Second Hand Cars .

41,000 2005
56,000 2006
90,000 2007
90,000 2008

This means that there is an absolute glut of new(ish) cars in Ireland and that many of them need to find a new home over the next year or two as the twin beemer classes slim down to the one 01 Astra instead .

This adjustment will last all of 2009 and 2010 ( although the government may well be forced to bring in a scrappage scheme as early as the emergency budget in spring 2009 to clear the market some ) and will be an absolute carnage in the car industry .

We shall be left at the end of 2010 with a VERY limited number of well capitalised mega dealers and quite a few small mechanics shops , many spun out of collapsed dealerships .

Imports will continue apace !!! Irish mega dealers excel at taking the piss with their €100 an hour labour charges for a first year apprentice to tighten a few nuts here and there :frowning:

VRT will not recover . Buying a near new import is much less traumatic than getting an Irish main dealer to honour a warranty ! Half the main dealers in County Galway will no longer exist by the end of 2010 as things seem .

But isn’t VRT being paid on all those imports anyway ?

Ah yes, but if your mates with the lads down on the docks, you can get your 7-series beemer with all the extras booked as a standard model.

Or your Evo X as a Mitsubishi Lancer.

Posted this on another thread yesterday but it’s more appropriate here:

I’ve been looking at getting an '08 diesel from the UK for the wife, by buying a '08 it will still have the €100/€150 road tax.

5 weeks ago I priced a '08 VW Golf 1.9 tdi with 7K mls for €15,500 (all taxes paid) now it’s down to €13,500.

A '08 Ford Focus 1.8 Tdci was then €12,500 now it’s €11,000

All sourced from VW & Ford main dealers if you went to the auctions you could probably knock €1000 - €1500 of those prices.

In the face of that it’s pretty hard for any dealer to survive here.

Irish cars tend to have a lower spec as the importers try to keep the base price of the car to the minimum before VAT and VRT drive it through the roof.

There is no value for money culture in the Irish media and especially when it comes to cars. The UK is full of websites and newspaper columns explaining how and where to get the best deal on cars. Look at the driving section of the Sunday Times. They have a guy, Jason Dawe I think, who tracks down new cars with the biggest cut off the list price. I’ve never seen anything like that here.

There is a thriving independent sector in the UK, full of mechanics who specialise in certain brands. UK drivers are far more clued into this and are less quick to pay main dealer servicing. They have things like HPI over there where you can verify the history of a car in a transparent manner.

Contrary to the irish dealer myths about UK cars all being clocked and damaged and what not, they are probably a safer buy than an Irish one if you are prepared to do your homework.

Ultimately you can buy a 2008 Vauxhall Vectra, 1.8 petrol, for £6000, from Motorpoint. Full pan European warranty etc. Or have an 08 TDI Golf home for 13-14000. Both these cars are 20,000 plus here.

The only fly in the ointment is I doubt you’d ever be able to trade one in to an Irish dealer. I also wonder how quick they would be to honour a manufacturers warranty on one of these things.

Across most spheres, this country is run by racketeers. The single biggest thing that is killing them is the internet in my view. Closely followed by cheap travel.

I realise this is about the irish car industry but the impending implosion of the American car giants will be like an anvil dropped in the bath of the global financial system. It’s going to be messy the knock on effects for America and hence the world will be massive.

Barak Obama has been handed the biggest baddest worsest smelliest hospital pass in economic history

My local Fiat Dealer refused to honour the pan-european warranty on my Panda which was still in force.
Proof of date of first registration and scan of the warranty booklet showing pan-european warranty didn’t help.
The charge was €50 for a bolt to earth the car’s electrics but I wouldn’t have spotted the fault myself so don’t begrudge them the 50 quid too much.
I’d still import again if I needed to rather than go to a local dealer. It’s not just the thousands of Euros in savings, it’s the ability to go to and get the exact car you want in the right colour with the additional extras you want. Autotrader lets you find the right car for you, not just the make and model you are looking for.


They also gave the blacks the shitist jobs. Plus ca change.


I thought VRT is now calculated using CO2 emissions only? Or is that just for new cars?
I was thinking of getting a 05-06 BMW Diesel next April, so will i higher spec make my VRT bill massive?
Also, anyone here know the best way of paying for a car in the UK? Cash or a bank Draught?

Any manufacturer warranty issues on an EU import that was made in the EU then go straight to these guys who will deal with them for you!

CO2 rate in only on cars first registered in 2008 JPS. So you’ll pay the old cc rate on a car first registered in 05-06.

Friends down the docks are no good. If you bring in a BMW/Merc/Audi/VW the VIN is forwarded to Revenue in Rosslare who have access to the manufacturers’ databases and thus a complete list of factory fitted extras, on which they will charge VRT (up to 4 years old anyway). You may get away with a 05 next April.

VRT is NOT based on cc anymore since July but on CO2 in all cases - road tax will still be cc based for pre-08 cars. BMWs generally have class leading CO2 emissions so your bill shouldn’t be too high.

I believe that a lot of regeneration of sales and interest in existing old unsold stock could be taken care of by changing the Pre 08 road tax situation.

Essentially, there are reasonably efficient pre 08 cars out there that are now paying very high road tax, e.g. Citroen C5 2.2 Diesel, just because of it’s capacity, and it’s capable of delivering mileage very easily in the high 40’s mpg.

What’s needed is for Mr. Gormley to start to implemenet a reasonable policy of keeping old cars viable.
I’d say make it a choice for people to either pay their taxation based on capacity old style for pre '08 cars, or pay by efficiency based on C02 calculations.

I’m sure that lots of the old small cars and diesels sitting dead in the market right now could be then started to shift in the market.
Is this too easy to implement?
Am I missing something here?

Yip - make pre-08 cars taxed on CO2 and watch the Beemers (and other low CO2 cars) arrive into the country by the ferry load! And SIMI wouldn’t like that!

If the VRT on an import is OBVIOUSLY too high …because it is based on an erroneous open market selling price that is way too high then complain about the Revenue to these people

and make the revenue a fair offer in writing . If they refuse your offer the complaint can also go to the competition directorate in Brussels :slight_smile:

You may have to pay the higher rate while waiting for Brussels to poke a VRT refund out of the Revenue :smiley:

The VRT system on imports is a deliberately rigged consumer fraud perpetrated by the Revenue and Irish Car dealers , in collusion with each other.

Just looked up some cars there in the UK. They are extremely cheap compared to prices here.

Those dealers with lots of used cars will surely collapse. There is one fella in the west that usually has fields full of cars who immediately jumps to mind.

What is the OMSP based on? Is it a bit like the price index for houses or something a bit more concrete like that doc you fill up when you buy a car.

Those that go to bother of challenging a VRT calculation almost always get some form of refund!

If you tell them you are going to appeal the valuation then they’ll give you more off as they don’t want the hassle or cost of appearing before ombudsman and bringing/paying an expert witness to justify the valuation they have placed on the car.

You are being way way too hard on the Irish Dealers. I know a lot of these guys - and honestly if I were them I would have stormed the government buildings years ago.

Think about it.

The Government have forced them (example) into selling a Land Rover discovery that they all know is (worth) 40000euro for 80000. And they have to try and make it sound like your getting a good deal and its actually worth it. 51% tax and a well kitted out LR3.

Are you kidding me!! - how is that the dealers fault.

The only country IN THE WORLD where we bring in perfectly good fully kitted out jeeps - rip the windows and seats out of them in Rosslare and weld in pannels and THEN AFTER DOING THAT WORK _ CUT THE PRICE IN HALF.

and then ask a dealer to sell it with a straight face.

Its not there fault guys - actually they are one of the most patient groups of people that the goverment has abused for years.


I’m currently working for a car-part manufacturer in the South-East. I’m being made redundant in February. We’ve already let 160 go this year and are on short time for the last couple of months and will be well into '09. All of our customers across Europe are also on short time and many of the big names (Renault, Volvo) have let thousands go. Even with the loss of nearly one third of the workforce from the plant and being on short time, we’ve still managed to produce enough stock to do us for at least half of next year (assuming that there will be any orders next year…). It is bleak, my friends…very, very bleak. XX