New figures today show that total new car registrations for the month of June are up 13% to 1,410 when compared with the same month last year.

But the statistics from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that new car registrations year to date are down 7.4% to 80,712 from 87,116 the same time last year.

Every county in Ireland saw a reduction in new car registrations on last year, which SIMI said reflected the uncertain trading environment arising from Brexit.

Today's SIMI figures also show that new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations are up 8.4%, with registrations year to date down 7.6%. 

New heavy commercial vehicles (HGV) increased soared by over 72 in comparison to June 2018 and are up 14.6% to 1,797 so far this year. 

Meanwhile, imported used cars for June saw a slight decrease of 1 on the same month last year, while year to date imports are 2.4% ahead of 2018.

SIMI also noted that new electric vehicle registrations continue to grow month on month with a total of 1,954 EV cars registered so far this year.

This surpasses the total number of EVs registered for the whole 2018.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said that despite Ireland's strong economic performance, new car sales for the first six months of the year have been disappointing - 7.4% down on the same time last year and over 20% down over the last three years.

But he said that today marks that start of the 192-registration period, which offers retailers some respite.

Mr Cooke also said that many in the car industry are already turning their focus on October's Budget, which coincides with Brexit. 

"In the current fragile business context, SIMI is urging the Government to exercise extreme caution in dealing with motor related taxation. The motorist should not be burdened with an increase in taxation on new cars, as this will only further dampen demand," he said. 

The SIMI director general said the motor industry supports some 47,000 jobs.

"Dramatic taxation changes could undermine this level of employment, the new and used car markets, Government revenues, and our ability to renew our national car fleet which in turn could hamper Ireland's ability to meet its international environmental targets," he cautioned.

Today's SIMI figures reveal that the five top selling car brands so far this year are Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Skoda.

The five most popular car models so far this year are the Nissan Qashqai, followed by the Hyundai Tucson, the Toyota Corolla, the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Skoda Octavia, while the top selling car in June was the Opel Astra.