First week of '142' sales nearly double those of last year
Figures show light commercials up 60pc
THE buying splurge that marked the first day of the new 142-registration period shows little sign of abating - and is forcing experts to re-think just how many cars may be bought this year.
Figures obtained by Independent Motors from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) highlight a consistently steady level of buying.
In the first full week of '142' trading so far, 7,912 new cars have been registered.
That is a 79pc increase over the 4,410 registered during the corresponding period last July.
And it is only 4,000 off the total for all of July 2013 - the first year we had two registration periods.
It pushes the level of purchasing/registering to a significant 28pc ahead of last year.
Industry experts are now saying they will probably have to revise upwards their projections of 90,000 new-car purchases for the year, such has been the high level of buying.
Sales are now running at 73,616 - a significant leap on the 57,674 up to and including the first week of July last year.
Of increasing note is the number of light commercials being bought by the business sector - one of the most realistic indications of the health of the economy.
Registrations for the first week came to 676 (a 60pc increase on 423). And so far this year, the 10,055 vans registered represent a 38pc increase on the 7,303 bought by this stage in 2013.
Asked to comment on the increases, SIMI's Suzanne Sheridan told Independent Motors: "I would say that there's a significant improvement on last year, not just in terms of vehicle sales but in activity in showrooms in general."
She added: "it's likely that our prediction of 90,000 car sales for this year will be revised upwards, given the success so far of sales in the 142 period."
She said it was clear that some consumers are in a better financial position to buy in the middle of the year.
And the increase in sales is being helped in no small measure by cut-throat competition on deals and offers as virtually all marques strive to capitalise on the rising tide of activity and consumer interest,
In addition to that there is far wider availability of finance with Personal Contract Plans (PCPs) known to be generating a lot of deals across the industry.
Ms Sheridan added: "The industry is still in recovery mode but the improved market is a strong sign of an improved domestic economy. "
There were some forebodings in the lead-up to July that there might be a lack of interest because a number of dealerships reported little or no footfall or enquiries.
There had been a steady trickle of pre-orders but nothing to hint at the wave of buying that was to materialise. It now appears that thousands of people had been doing their homework and waiting.