Sales of new cars hit highest level in five years
NEW CAR sales have hit their highest level in five years as demand continues late into the year.
More than 2,000 were registered last month, pushing total sales so far this year to 95,217.
It is the first time since 2009 that new car sales have reached 95,000.
They are now running nearly 22,000 ahead of last year. For such a large number of new cars to be bought so late in the year underlines growing consumer confidence.
Normally at this time of year buyers opt to wait for a brand new registration (151) in January.
But a mixture of pent-up demand and special deals on offer mean motorists are buying now rather than waiting until the new year.
Car makers too have pre-registered a substantial proportion of vehicles - to be sold later - to hold on to their market share.
Official figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that 2,042 new cars were registered last month. That is 20.69pc up on October 2013.
At 95,217 for the year to date, sales are now nearly 30pc ahead of the first 10 months last year. Analysts are forecasting that if consumer confidence remains as strong, sales may reach, or even surpass, the 120,000 mark next year.
The top 10 selling makes this year are Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Skoda, Opel, Renault, Audi and Kia.
The top selling models are the Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Focus and Fiesta, Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia, Hyundai ix35, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Auris.
There have also been substantial increases in commercial vehicle sales, with vans up 51pc (15,900) so far this year. This has increased by 79pc in October (1,370).
SIMI chief Alan Nolan said the increase in buying is a welcome sign of recovery for the industry. He said the level of light commercial registrations indicates "a more general recovery in the wider economy".
However, he emphasised that sales are coming off a low base. "For sustainability the new car registration market needs to be operating at an annual level of 130,000," Mr Nolan added.