OFFICIAL statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that new car registrations for the month of February were up 37% compared to February 2015 while total new car sales for the year so far are up 35% on the same period last year.
Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are also selling well, up 50% on February 2015 and up 39% overall year to date.
Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations are also up 26% for the month of February compared to the same month last year and have increased by 83% year to date.
Commenting on the figurers, SIMI deputy director general Brian Cooke said: “New car registrations are showing the early signs of a strong 2016 for the motor industry. The increased growth in registrations, both in cars and commercial vehicles, for the month of February clearly indicate that consumer and business confidence remain strong.
“The increase in new car registrations is partly due to the pent-up demand that arose as Ireland has replaced so few older cars with new ones over recent years, and this in addition to lower new car prices driven by the generous offers from retailers and manufacturers, and the availability of low cost finance, are all helping to increase sales.
“In particular, those consumers with a car to trade in are likely to benefit from higher valuations on their trade-ins because the lower level of new cars registered over the previous six years has resulted in a very strong demand for good quality used cars, resulting in a lower cost to change up to a new or newer car.”
Car registrations for the month of February were 21,625 compared to 15,778 in February 2015, while total new car sales so far this year are 61,350 as against 45,586 for the same period last year. The top five best selling models are the Hyundai Tucson, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Toyota Corolla.