Saturday 24 February 2018

Sales surge continues as thousands buy new 132s

Dealers say showrooms busier than January

Eddie Cunningham Motoring Editor

NOBODY knows how long it will last, but the mid-summer splurge is racking up the car-sales numbers.

After just seven days of trading, 4,701 new cars were registered – that is 762pc more than for the corresponding slot last year, according to Motorcheck.ie.

A number of factors are inflating this year's surge, including some heavy car rental activity and, of course, pent-up demand from May and June when sales slumped.

Finance deals are playing a big part too, but fuelling the buying, without a doubt, has been some serious price cuts.

With a fair bit of July to go, some experts are forecasting up to 8,000 new registrations or nearly double last July's.

That would compensate in some measure for the miserly numbers in May and June. Others are less optimistic and see 6,000 or thereabouts as a realistic target.

At this stage last year there had been 66,879 new cars registered. This year is now trailing on 57,673, which means they are down by 13.77pc. But if the July buying sticks the pace for a while, the gap could close significantly.

Dealers have been 'extremely' busy according to SIMI.

Its deputy director general Brian Cooke says it looks like July this year may well be changing customers' buying patterns. "While it is still early days," he said, "we are already seeing positive signs that the new system is working. Many dealers are reporting showroom footfall at January levels, traditionally the busiest month of the year for sales."

SPICE

Of course dealers will probably look back in September and wish for some of the sales that were fast-forwarded to July and August.

And of course, by the end of the year, the gap on 2012 may have widened by a far greater margin than 13.77pc.

But, if nothing else, this 132 start has added spice for buyers and sellers.

And it just goes to show what buyers can and will do when they see value.

Irish Independent

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