FIGURES just released by the SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show that so far this year, new car sales in Clare are up by 35%.
Nationally, sales are up 28%. The confidence evident in January has continued into February with a 21% increase in car sales.
The light commercial vehicle market, which is a good sign of activity in the SME sector, saw an increase in sales of 41% in February with sales of Heavy Goods Vehicles, often a barometer of activity in the wider Economy, seeing a 68% increase.
Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General commented “The Motor Industry is often the first to be affected when there’s a downturn and one of the first to come back when the economy improves. Dealers are undoubtedly seeing a lot more confidence among consumers, many of whom have been putting off making large purchases over the last few years. Feedback from dealers confirms that footfall and sales enquiries are holding up well and there is no doubt that it’s the return of consumers to the market, as opposed to business purchasers, that is fuelling the increased business. Better availability of finance for creditworthy consumers combined with improved consumer confidence have helped make this a very good start to 2014 for the Industry.
As a result, employment in the sector has also been stabilising and February saw the formation of 37 new companies in the Motor Industry in February.”
Overall, new cars sales in Ireland are up by 21% on February last year, with 12,753 sold against 10,579 in 2013.
The top selling brands were Volkswagen, followed by Toyota and Ford with the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Nissan Qashqai being the three most popular individual models. The top selling van was the Ford Transit.