Updated with Toyota Responce. Toyota Motor Group may be planning to launch a captive bank in the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Independent has reported.

Although the paper didn’t reveal its sources, it did note that manufacturers have been stepping up their low interest financing deals to combat recent declines in sales.

According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI),  new car registrations in April were down 24%, or by 7,865, in April 2017, compared to the same month the year prior, with year-to-date figures down 10% year-on-year.

Commenting on these figures, SIMI director Alan Nolan said: “From our recent SIMI/DoneDeal Quarterly Review, we commented that 2017 was proving to be unpredictable for the Motor Industry and the month of April appears to be reflecting this statement.

“Vehicle registrations for April show a decline in all sectors and across nearly all counties. While the economy continues to strengthen, consumers appears to have remained somewhat more cautious to date. That said the Industry is continuing to entice consumers with very strong offers to the degree that even with lower sterling values, as a result of Brexit virtually no new cars have been imported because of the value available here.”

Toyota was the best-selling brand over the first four months of 2017, with 8329 passenger cars sold in the period, and was also the best-selling brand in 2016.

When asked to comment, Toyota said: “Toyota Financial Services have plans to expand their World-wide operations into the Irish market at some point in the near future, but at this stage there is no fixed date for the start of business as plans are at a very early stage”