Irish motorists lap up the 152 plates as July sales near January high
WE bought nearly as many cars in July as we did in January - traditionally the bumper month - as our buying trends are changing dramatically with the new twice-a-year change of registration plates.
New-car registrations soared by 9,000 (48pc) to 27,633 last month – just 2,000 short of January. Sales for the year to date are up 30pc, according to the latest SIMI figures.
And there’s no sign of a brake on the buying with predictions of 123,000 for this year in total and as many as 145,000 next year.
If we buy that many in 2016 it would represent a near doubling of annual new-car buying since the figures languished in the mid-70,000s in 2013.
It is clear from the figures that large numbers of people are now leaving their car buying until July as opposed to the traditional spike of January to March.
And while new-car registrations are forging ahead, the level of commercial van sales is soaring. They are up 53pc year to date and rose by 41pc in July. Like cars, they are reflecting the increasing momentum of recovery and the level of business in the economy.
The overall buoyancy is pumping millions more into the Exchequer (€761m so far) as well as creating more jobs.
It is estimated that 13.6pc of all new jobs created this year have been in the motor industry with 5,600 generated since June 2014.
The SIMI figures were published in tandem with its quarterly review compiled by economist Jim Power.
While most of his report is based on the every-improving economy, he warns: “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.”
And junior minister Damien English, who launched the report today, said the industry is playing a key role in providing employment across the country in both rural and urban areas.”