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New car market races ahead by 31 per cent in January

New car sales in January were up 31 per cent on last year according to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

29,948 cars were sold last month (January) compared with 22,893 in January 2014. This start could very likely see sales comfortably exceed 100,000 at the end of the year, for the first time since 2008.

Louth was the county to show the highest percentage gain with +43.36 per cent and Sligo just pipped Monaghan for the lowest gain this January compared to January 2014 with +14,77 per cent.

The top three selling car brands were Toyota, Volkswagen, and Ford, with the top four selling models were the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Fiesta. Band A car sales are up by 34 per cent, Band B up by 22 per cent, and Band C up by 60 per cent.

Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales in January up 71 per cent (4,839) on last year (2,843). Ford leads the way with 28.68 per cent, followed by Volkswagen, Renault, and Toyota. The top selling van was the Ford Transit Van, followed by the Volkswagen Caddy, Volkswagen Transporter and the Ford Transit Connect.

In the combined new vehicle (cars and vans) market for January 2015, Ford sold the highest number of vehicles with a tally of 4,515 units (3,128 cars and 1,387 vans) ahead of Toyota with a combined total of 4,282 and VW’s combined total of 4,166.

New Irish heavy goods vehicles (HGV) registrations in January were down 29 per (192 units) on January last year (272 units) but the Euro 6 scramble a year ago explains this fall. The big winners so far this year appears to be Scania.

Current bullish industry projections indicate that new car sales should be close to 115,000 with light commercials, possibly set to exceed 20,000, again for the first time since 2008.

And black is back on top – it was colour on the largest percentage of new cars with 19.36 per cent. Black switched places with silver / aluminium on 18.95 pefr cent of new cars, with grey on 15.82 pefr cent and white/ivory accounting for 13.06 per cent of those sold in January. Red / maroon and blue make up the other big selling colours.

Meanwhile,used import registrations declined by almost 5 per cent on January 2014 levels with just 4,624 used imports registered in Jan 2015.

The used car market in general however continues with a strong performance into 2015. The full year 2014 was up almost 7 per cent on the previous year (an increase of approximately 60,000 used car transactions) and continues to be buoyant. Over the last five years (2010-2014) the used car transactions are up 11pc in the Irish market.