Sunday 18 February 2018

First day of 132 reg gives huge boost to car sales

Eddie Cunningham Motoring Editor

THE new 132-registration era got off to a spectacular start with more cars sold on the first day than in all of June.

In all, 2,095 new vehicles were registered – 1,927 cars, 138 vans and 31 trucks.

In the space of 24 hours, there were 164 Nissan Qashqai, 149 Ford Focus and 136 VW Golf cars purchased.

The number of cars sold also outstripped that for the first sales day of January this year by 440 (1,927 versus 1,487).

Up to now, the first working day of the year has always been the busiest day of the year.

And while much of the focus has been on cars, the level of commercial vehicle and truck sales is encouraging, as they are seen as an economic barometer of business activity.

Director general of SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) Alan Nolan described it as a "very positive start". He said motorists are going for the plethora of offers out there as many only apply for this month.

"Feedback from dealerships had indicated a lot of interest in the new plate, but it's always hard to gauge just how much until we see the actual registrations coming through."

He added: "As it's the first year of the new dual registration, we hope that the momentum continues for the coming weeks and months."

The surge will no doubt come as encouragement to buyers and sellers, but it still has to be put in context.

The opening-day registration spree followed a 75pc nosedive in purchases throughout June and a 24pc slide in May as people waited for the new plate.

And a number of those who might normally buy in September will have been tempted by some of the deals on offer for July only, thereby raising the prospect of lower sales after the initial rush is over.

There are fears within the industry that today's sales are effectively taking tomorrow's.

Motorcheck.ie managing director Shane Teskey told the Irish Independent: "The industry has a mountain to climb to overcome the shortfall in June and exceed last year's sales for July. However, there does seem to be a renewed interest in new car sales which we never had before at this time of year."

It does look like the 132-reg has heralded a far bigger number of registrations than might have been anticipated. For example, there were more cars sold on July 1 this year than for the first 18 days of the same month last year.

Irish Independent

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