The New Year rush to buy cars in Ireland continues apace and the upturn is helping to secure jobs.
New car sales are running close to 30% ahead of the opening two months of 2013.
Figures from SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show that so far this year, new car sales are up by 28%. The confidence evident in January has continued into February with a 21% increase in car sales.
The 141 plates are really proving to be a draw.
The light commercial vehicle market, which is a good sign of activity in the SME sector, saw an increase in sales of 41% in February with sales of Heavy Goods Vehicles, often a barometer of activity in the wider Economy, seeing a 68% increase.
Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said the motor industry was often the first to be affected when there was a downturn and one of the first to come back when the economy improves.
“Dealers are undoubtedly seeing a lot more confidence among consumers, many of whom have been putting off making large purchases over the last few years,” Mr Noaln added.
“Feedback from dealers confirms that footfall and sales enquiries are holding up well. There is no doubt that it’s the return of consumers to the market, as opposed to business purchasers, that is fuelling the increased business.
“Better availability of finance for creditworthy consumers combined with improved consumer confidence have helped make this a very good start to 2014 for the industry.
“As a result, employment in the sector has also been stabilising and February saw the formation of 37 new companies in the motor industry in February.”