OFFICIAL Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) 161 car sales figures for January show that registrations are up 33% compared to the same month last year.
In the first month of this year, there were 39,812 registrations compared to 29,808 in January 2015. Light commercials vehicle registrations are up 34% (6,589) compared to January last year (4,909), while heavy goods vehicle registrations are also up by 138% (492) for January in comparison to the same time last year (206).
Meanwhile, the final SIMI/DoneDeal Quarterly Motor Industry Review of 2015, which has just been released, highlights the progress the motor industry made last year.
Last year the industry continued to generate strong returns for the exchequer, with a total VRT and VAT take of €1.19 billion (23.4% ahead of 2014) from new and used car sales alone. Added to the VAT from vehicle servicing and repairs, road tax and fuel duties, the total revenue generated from the motorist was in the region of €5.4 billion in 2015. The exchequer will benefit to the tune of €300 million from 161 car sales in January.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, who launched the SIMI/DoneDeal review, commented: “The motor industry has been a key driver in the recovery of the Irish economy, with car sales alone contributing to over €1 billion to the Irish exchequer. Also, it is particularly encouraging to see the growth in employment and apprenticeships within the sector. The motor industry has faced some challenging years and I am delighted to see the increase in car sales last year and this momentum continuing into 2016.”
Economist Jim Power, author of the review, said: “Looking ahead to 2016, the key drivers of new car sales look set to remain positive. New car registrations, which have started the year strongly, should be capable of expanding by at least 22%, giving total sales of 152,500. This forecast could turn out to be conservative.”
The SIMI/DoneDeal report highlights that total employment within the industry stood at 43,400 in the third quarter 2015, showing a growth of 5,100 jobs since the third quarter of 2009, and job creation within the industry is set to increase by around 3% in 2016.
The cost of motoring in 2015 saw a decline in petrol (-8.2%) and diesel prices (-11.4%), while the average price of a new car has also declined by 3%. However, motor insurance costs increased by 30.7%.
In January, the top five selling car makes were Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan, while the top five selling models were the Hyundai Tucson, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf.