Car sales in 2015 will top 120,000, dealers have predicted, with new registrations in the first few weeks of January well ahead of this time last year.
Nationally figures are 30% ahead of last year at just over 12,700, with the availability of credit and a range of special offers driving demand.
And if showroom traffic is anything to go by, the growth enjoyed across the industry last year will continue apace in 2015, according to Brendan Keary of Keary’s.
“The first 10 days of 2015 have been very positive. Sales in Cork are up 26% on last year and 30% nationally. Based on the level of early registrations, we are predicting that overall figures will break 120,000 in 2015, up from 97,000 last year, which is very positive.”
Mr Keary said the availability of cheap credit and the popularity of personal contract plans (PCPs), coupled to pent up demand meant demand was strong.
“We are seeing that demand across all our brands. BMW sales are up 70% on last year. We are seeing very strong sales across our Renault and Hyundai range.”
Gavin Seaman of Dan Seaman Motors said they were also seeing growth across their range, with value for money still a big motivating factor.
“Things are going well and we are doing everything to tap into that. Consumers are still looking for value and there is strong interest in the SUV and crossover sectors. Small cars are also very popular.”
Mr Seaman said splitting the year for new registrations was having a positive effect on the industry and keeping new buyers active all year round. He also said the availability of cheap credit and the willingness of the banks to lend again was driving demand.
Commenting on 151 sales Alan Nolan Director General SIMI said: “Feedback received from our members so far indicate that 151 sales for January have gotten off to a positive start with dealers reporting increased pre-sales and footfall in dealerships noticeable from retail consumers.
“The increase in retail sales can be attributed to greater consumer confidence and the availability of finance. For those interested in purchasing a vehicle new or used, there are great offers available in the marketplace. The cost of motoring has been declining with fuel prices for both petrol and diesel falling along with decline in the retail price of new vehicles.
“Those buying vehicles with lower CO2 emissions also save with lower road tax and VRT. Indications are also good for increase sales of light commercial vehicles reflecting improvements in our domestic economy and investment for small businesses.”
He said the industry is confident that 2015 will see sales for all segments continue to grow and improve on 2014.
“We would predict that car sales this year will reach 110,000 and in particular as the new July registration plate system enters its third year and is likely to be its most successful. The industry continues to be optimistic for the coming year with 4,000 jobs created in 2014 we would hope to see this trend continue as sales increase in 2015”.
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