Car sales up by 33% in January, latest figures show

Toyota regains top spot as best-selling car brand

Toyota regains top spot as best-selling car brand, followed by Volkswagen and Hyundai.  Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

Toyota regains top spot as best-selling car brand, followed by Volkswagen and Hyundai. Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

Mon, Feb 3, 2014, 14:19

Almost 23,000 new cars were bought in January, up 33 per cent on last year (17,242) and 8 per cent up on 2012 (21,309), the latest figures from the SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show.

The Volkswagen Golf was thebest selling car in January, while Toyota was the best selling car brand, followed by Volkswagen and Hyundai. The Ford Transit was the best selling van.

Demand for used cars in dealerships was also strong, although the supply of locally sourced cars remains limited. This is reflected in the increase in imported used cars, which show an increase of 35 per cent on 2013 and 39 per cent over 2012. Around 50 per cent of imported used cars are recorded as being registered by motor dealers.

Commercial vehicles have also seen improved levels of activity in January with sales of LCVs (vans) up 42 per cent on 2013 and 29 per cent on 2012, while HGVs (trucks) are 31 per cent up on 2013 and 19 per cent better than in 2012.

Referring to the statistics Alan Nolan, SIMI director general said there was “a sense of optimism in dealerships that hasn’t been apparent for many years”.

“There is a strong sense that we’re now above the bottom and beginning to move upwards.”

Greater availability of finance was cited as one factor behind the increase. Indeed figures from Volkswagen Bank show that about €170 million was loaned to customers in 2013, up by 40 per cent on 2012. Initial figures for January show that half of all Volkswagen customers who are taking up finance are now opting for a PCP (Personal Contract Plan), which offers customers a lease type finance arrangement.

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