3 March 2014

New car sales up almost a third on last year

Figures just released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that so far this year, new car sales are up by 28 percent, writes Trish Whelan. The confidence evident in January has continued into February with a 21 percent increase in car sales.

The light commercial vehicle market, always a good sign of activity in the SME sector, saw an increase in sales of 41 percent in February with sales of Heavy Good Vehicles, often a barometer of activity in the wider economy, seeing a 68 percent rise.

Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General says: "The Motor Industry is often the first to be affected when there's a downturn and one of the first to come back when the economy improves. Dealers are undoubtedly seeing a lot more confidence among consumers, many of whom have been putting off making large purchases over the last few years."

He said feedback from dealers confirms that footfall and sales enquiries are holding up well and there is no doubt that it's the return of consumers to the market, as opposed to business purchasers, that is fuelling the increased business. "Better availability of finance for creditworthy consumers combined with improved consumer confidence, have helped make this a very good start to 2014 for the Industry."

As a result, employment in the sector has also been stabilising and February saw the formation of 37 new companies in the Motor Industry.