Supporting Motors

Toyota celebrates third year in a row as Ireland’s best-selling car brand

By Gerry Murphy

Local Toyota dealers and the people at Toyota Ireland are celebrating closing out 2023 as Ireland’s best-selling car brand, making it three years in a row for the Irish owned business.

Overall in a market of over 120,000 new-car registrations, Toyota sold 16,532 cars in 2023. That’s 3,164 more than the next best-seller and a market share of 13.57%.

While currently sticking mainly to hybrid cars, there is still a great love of the Japanese brand in Ireland. Toyota’s market people describe their strategy as electrified driving and while there is a major combustion engine element powering the majority of their cars they continue to prove hugely popular.

With hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid securing a combined market share of 26.82% – 4.66% higher than diesel which once again dropped, to 22.16% of total sales. That is a reduction of 4.58% compared to 2022.

Back in 2018 Toyota became the first brand to cease diesel production for mass-market passenger cars and in 2023 its electrified models represented 92.8% of its entire annual sales.

In December, Toyota detailed its multi-pathway strategy to aim for carbon neutrality. They are investing in the development of new low and zero emissions vehicles to meet the needs of consumers. Toyota is also doubling down on its investment in next-generation battery technology development, focusing on introducing solid state batteries to the market in 2027-2028.

“2023 proved to be another strong year for Toyota Ireland, and our third successive as Ireland’s best-seller,” said Steve Tormey, Chief Executive Officer Toyota Ireland.

“As a brand that has championed sustainable and electrified motoring for years, seeing hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles overtake diesel for the first time feels like vindication for making the tough, but right, decision to pull out of diesel back in 2018 when it was by far the most popular seller.”

Market share for 2023 sees petrol account for 30.07%, diesel 22.16%, electric 18.70%, hybrid 18.54% and plug-in hybrid 8.28%. Petrol remained the most popular engine type for 2023, while electric, hybrid, and plug-in electric hybrid account for 45.5% of the market.

Recent research commissioned by Toyota Ireland has found that 41% of drivers plan to buy either a hybrid electric or fully electric vehicle for their next car purchase, with 29% opting for hybrid electric and 12% for fully electric.  Just 22% plan to buy a petrol car for their next vehicle, 15% will go diesel, and 19% are unsure of their next move.

When it comes to buying a car, the top three considerations for Irish drivers are price (60%), followed by fuel efficiency (48%) and the size of the car (32%). Surprisingly, given the current climate situation only 14% chose environmental impact as their top consideration falling behind driving comfort (15%) engine size (16%) and appearance (22%).

For the majority of those planning to buy a hybrid electric vehicle, 58% are motivated by the lower cost of running than a diesel or petrol car, 57% say it’s better for the environment, and 43% agree they will save money on fuel and motor tax in the long run.

Top-selling new car brands 2023:
5. KIA

Top new car models in 2023:

Pictured: The Toyota Corolla Cross.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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