Figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) and DoneDeal show ‘152’ registrations for July were up 48% (27,633) on ‘142’ registrations in the same month last year, and are currently up 30% (109,960) for the first half of this year.
Light commercial vehicles were up 49% (3,768) on July 2014 (2,535) while, for the year to date, they were up 54% (18,426). Similarly, heavy goods vehicles were up some 41% for the month of July, 41% (291) compared to the same month last year (207).
The SIMI review highlighted a 25.4% increase in car sales so far in 2015 with the price of a new car down an average 2.9%.
It pointed out that the exchequer has benefited to the tune of €761m from new and used car sales since the start of the year — amounting to 3.7% of the total tax taken by the State in 2015.
A total of 5,600 jobs have been created in the motor industry since June of last year — some 13.6% of all new jobs in the country.
The cost of motoring was found to have decreased somewhat, although motor insurance costs have risen by 15.7% since June 2014.
Volkswagen (13,491) remains the most popular make of car in Ireland so far this year, occupying a 12.3% share of the market. This is followed by Toyota (11,726), Ford (10,714), and Hyundai (10,711) — with the latter being the best-selling brand last month.
The VW Golf remains the best selling car with 4,860 registrations so far this year, followed by the Ford Focus and the Nissan Qashqai. The number of electric cars has risen slightly, although just 398 were sold in the first seven months of this year.
Diesel cars remain the most popular, although sales of petrol cars continue to rise and now make up some 27.42% of the market.
Given the buoyancy in the market, SIMI has increased its predictions for this year’s end-of-year totals to a projected 123,000 new car registrations. This would be a 27% growth on 2014. These projections anticipate an extra €219m for the exchequer and 3,400 additional jobs, and improves next year’s predicted new car sales to 145,000.
Economist and author of the report, Jim Power, said the Government should not make any changes in the upcoming budget that might halt the boom in car sales.
“Given the upward momentum in the auto sector and the increasingly strong contribution it is making to exchequer revenues, employment and regional economic activity, it is important that Budget 2016 should not make any changes that could adversely affect car sales,” he said.
SIMI president Mark Boggan said the figures showed the clear success of the dual registration plate. “This is the third year of the dual registration plate which has been a real success, allowing the industry to better structure its business year. We now have sales occurring in the second half of the year at rates never seen before as consumers have embraced the opportunity to purchase their new car in July.”
The increase in sales activity is also being seen in the online market.
DoneDeal has reported a 26m increase in visits to its motoring section for the first half of 2015, bringing total visits to over 89m so far this year.
Meanwhile, a survey by SIMI conducted recently has revealed half their members regularly see cars presenting with dangerous defects — roughly once or twice a month.
Some 93% of garages said they had seen cars come in with dangerous tyres in the past three months.
The organisation is calling on car owners to keep up their car maintenance as a priority.