Surge in car sales drives 4,200 new jobs in Irish auto sector
More than 4,200 new jobs have been created this year on the back of increasing car sales.
Latest Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) figures show 89,279 new cars have been registered so far in 2014 - 15,000 more than all of last year.
SIMI estimates that 4,200 new jobs have been created, directly and indirectly, this year as a result of the success of the dual registration plate and "the overall increase in business".
SIMI director general Alan Nolan said: "Vehicle sales have a direct impact on employment in the sector.
"It is great to see the number of people working in the industry beginning to rise again."
With sales next year projected to rise again, SIMI says the growth could create another 1,500 jobs.
But Mr Nolan warned: "However, it is crucial that this growth is not stalled by any negative decisions made in this year's Budget."
Large numbers of people came out to buy in August - traditionally a 'dead' month for sales, the figures show.
Following unprecedented sales of 18,725 in July to mark the year's second number plate, there were fears of a major drop-off. But the trend has continued, with a 32pc increase to 4,873 last month.
The SIMI figures also show that new-car registrations have generated an extra €171m in VAT and VRT, bringing the total for the year to €720m.
Mr Nolan added: "The dual registration plate has really helped in spreading the sales through the year, which was the intention. But the real driver in increasing the registrations has been the level of growth in consumer demand, which has not been seen in the industry for some time."
And strong commercial vehicle sales highlight the improvement in commercial activity in the economy. The experts are now predicting new-car registrations will top 95,000 this year - up from 74,366 in 2013.
While positive, it is still the early stages of recovery as sales are moving to 60pc of normal this year from 45pc in 2013.
New heavy commercial vehicle registrations are up 30pc on last year, with light commercial purchases up 47pc.
Meanwhile, potential buyers are being advised that there will be bargains out there over the coming months.
Motorcheck.ie says dealers will be aware that sales of new cars will fall sharply, so buyers should expect a little more room to manoeuvre.
"Buoyant new car sales also mean lots of trade-ins arriving on dealer forecourts. What this translates into for used car buyers is choice, which always allows prices to deflate a little and increases the buyer's scope for haggling," it says.
However, Motorcheck.ie managing director Michael Rochford urged buyers to take care when buying secondhand, and to get the vehicle thoroughly checked out.