Sales in March 2014 were up 23 percent, reflecting a continuation of the consumer confidence that has been apparent since the start of the year, writes Brian Byrne.
The Commercial Vehicle market is also positive, with light commercial/van sales up 43 percent this quarter and up 45 percent in March alone. Heavy commercial/truck sales are up 40 percent so far this year ad 31 percent in March alone. The top selling van was the Ford Transit.
Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General says "Vehicle sales for the first quarter of 2014 remain significantly ahead of last year. Already we have registered over two-thirds of total car sales for last year." He added "We are clearly starting from a low base, but the most notable point has been the return of retail consumers to the marketplace and that can be seen both in showrooms and in the number of 141 cars visible outside homes, schools and shops."
He said this has been significantly assisted by the improved availability of retail finance from the Finance Houses who are strongly supporting the recovery in the market.