The total number of new cars licensed in the first eight months of this year has passed the 100,000 mark, figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
This is the first time since 2008 that this figure has been reached in any year and the total for 2015 is expected to top 120,000.
Yesterday’s figures show that 8,572 new cars were licensed for the first time in August, up 38.2% on the same month the previous year.
A total of 108,522 new cars were sold in the first eight months of 2015, an increase of 31.5% compared with the same eight-month period in 2014.
However, the number of used or imported cars was down 11.9% in the first eight months of the year, while used cars were down 14.3% in August to 3,666.
Yesterday’s figures also show that the number of new goods vehicles licensed in August rose by 24.3% to 1,927.
Seven out of 10 new cars sold in the eight months from January to August were diesel, while 95.5% were in the A/B CO2 emissions bands.
Volkswagen was the most popular brand of new car sold in August (1,112) followed by Toyota (857), Ford (834), Nissan (766) and Hyundai (631).
Together these five makes represent just under half (49.0%) of all new private cars licensed.
Commenting on the figures, the director general of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, Alan Nolan, said: “As consumer and business confidence continues to grow in the economy, we see this reflected in increased registrations for both new cars and commercial vehicles for August.
“The industry is moving closer to normal levels of business with registrations continuing to perform month on month. The second registration period should continue to see increased activity for the next few weeks with special sales and finance offers continuing. We would expect that new car sales should exceed 120,000 at the end of the year.”
Mr Nolan added: “The motor industry is a key contributor to the Exchequer, with nearly €1bn from new car sales alone so far this year and an additional 5,600 jobs have been created in the motor industry since 2014.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved