Bright start as sales surge 37pc -- but it is early days
SALES are up 37pc so far on last year, but it is early days.
However, it is obvious from casual observation of 141 number plates on the road that people are buying. And compared with this time last year there is far more talk and enquiries about new cars.
It will take a few more weeks for a real trend and percentage increase to emerge as the early January figures are swollen somewhat by pre-ordered cars, but it has all the signs of a significant uplift.
Increasingly, 85,000 new-car registrations are being forecast now -- that would be an increase of 11,000 on 2013 and ease pressure on jobs and some dealers.
Alongside the eagerness to get into a new car is the easier access to, and wider availability of, credit.
For example, Renault (with sales well up so far) has just released figures showing its own bank has loaned more than €100m to customers here since it began business in 2012. It now has more than 6,000 private and business customers.
It says one-in-four customers have opted for a PCP (Personal Contract Plan).
Many other brands are going down this route, with the likes of Audi saying a far higher proportion of their buyers are taking PCPs.