Please give an overview of your sector?
Within the Irish Motor Industry there are many different business sectors and operators. Sectors such as Repairers, Vehicle Recovery, Sales, Aftersales, Distributors, Vehicle Testing, Vehicle Body Repairs, and Wholesalers to name just a few.
SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) as a member's organisation must represent the views of all our member companies. We do this by campaigning/communicating to Government, state bodies, the media and the motoring public.
Each year SIMI submits a Budget Submission to Government on behalf of the Motor Industry, requesting recommendations that would assist the growth of our Industry. An example of two initatives that were campaigned for by SIMI and passed by Government were the scrappage scheme which commenced in 2011 and the change in the registration plate to a dual registration system introduced in 2013. We also provide our members with Industry specific services such as taxation advice, employment advice, statistics, training courses and much more.
The motor sector makes a very strong contribution to the Irish economy through the employment that is created in sales and servicing, and the contribution to the Exchequer through taxes on employment, but also through the VAT and VRT payable on vehicle sales. In addition, the motor industry is spread geographically around the country and makes a very strong contribution to economic activity in the regions, including small towns and many villages.
2015 €1.19 Billion of Government Revenue was generated from new and used car sales alone while the revenue generated from vehicle servicing and repairs as well fuel duties and road tax are added to the VRT/VAT tax take on car sales, the overall taxation collected from motorists amounted to €5.4 billion to the Exchequer in 2015.
Women@SIMI provides a platform for professional females, representing different sectors within the Irish Motor Industry to meet, network and share their experiences in what is otherwise viewed as a traditional male dominated environment.
Women@SIMI recognises the dynamic role played by women who are leading the way for the next generation of women in helping to driving our Industry forward both in terms of business strategy and career progression.
What is the size and scope of the sector?
At the end of 2015 total Employment in the Motor Industry stands at over 43,000. At its peak the level of employment was 49,500 in the final quarter of 2007. Employment since 2009 has increased by 5000.
The broad geographic spread of employment of motor industry business in Ireland is one of its key attributions and SIMI has member companies in over 400 towns in Ireland.
The motor industry also plays a key role in training and development of young people through the national apprenticeship system. 760 apprentices where registered within the motor industry family of trades and that includes construction, heavy vehicle mechanic, motor mechanic, vehicle body repairs and agricultural mechanic. That’s an increase of 25% from the previous year.
The Motor Industry offers a wide variety of career choices from marketing, finance, IT, human resources, technical, sales, administration, and many more.
What are the current issues affecting this sector?
After a dramatic decline in car sales in 2009 on the back of the collapse in the economy and
the surge in unemployment, the industry is now rebounding strongly.
For 2016, the key drivers of new car sales look set to remain positive. Employment is set to increase and consumer confidence should remain strong. It is impossible to forecast too far ahead into the future as there are many outside factors that can affect the Irish economy and in turn our Industry. Domestically, political uncertainty seems to represent the most significant risk factor. Political instability would not be good for business and consumer confidence and would damage economic activity and employment creation. While uncertainty about global growth prospects also may propose a risk to the Irish economy.
During the recession many of our skilled (technicians/mechanics) work force left Ireland, as the Industry continues to grow, employers will seek to recruit qualified technical staff and sales people as positions arise. It is estimated that for every extra 1,000 new car sales, 130 additional employees are hired in the industry. Car sales are making the biggest contribution to the growth in consumer expenditure.
What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years
While it is impossible to forecast that far ahead with any degree of confidence, we would be optimistic that car sales will continue to grow for the next year or two. A slowdown in growth is likely to be reflected as the market approaches a steady or natural state, after a prolonged period of catch up.
Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?
The Motor Industry contributed €5 billion to the economy in 2015.
New Car sales at the end of 2015 reaches 124,945. Most up to date statistics for Vehicles parked for all vehicles is 2,570294 and for passenger cars only is 1,943,868.
Visit www.beepbeep.ie/stats for the most recent new car sales figurers.
Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?
As technology in cars evolve we see an opportunity within the Industry for new skilled personal. For example parking sensors, reversing cameras, electric vehicles, self drive cars, all require new technologies and the Industry faces a challenge to be at the cutting edge of these requirements.