January car sales overtake 2009
AFTER a dreary start, new-car sales finally outstripped those of January 2009 -- but only just.
New official figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show the number of new cars registered in January (16,595) are up 5.04pc on those for the corresponding period in 2009 (15,799).
At one stage they were lagging behind dramatically but a surge in registrations over the past week or so has pushed them ahead.
SIMI director general Alan Nolan said last night the increase was welcome given that the first two weeks of bad weather brought trading to a virtual standstill. "The fact that the month has finished 5pc ahead of last year is a very strong sign that consumers are availing of the incredible value that is available at the moment.
"While the snow and ice delayed registrations until well into the month, feedback from dealers around the country is indicating that the significant increase in footfall and in actual sales, in comparison to this time last year, is continuing."
He added: "Dealers are also reporting that the scrappage scheme has been very well received by the public, who are actively seeking out the best value in 2010 low-emission cars." Light commercial vehicle registrations are usually a good indicator of economic activity too and there are some signs of an upturn -- albeit off a harrowingly low base.
Registrations for January (2,060) are up 27.7pc on the same period last year (1,613) but heavy vehicle registrations are down 52.01pc (131) compared to 273. Registrations of used imports are down significantly -- at 3,188 they're 45.87pc off the January 2009 figure of 5,889.