New car registrations up 33 per cent in March

New car registrations were up 33 per cent (19,046 ) last month compared to (14,297 ) March 2015, according to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI ) last week.

New car registrations for the first three months of the year are currently up 30 per cent on the same period last year. Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV ) were up 54 per cent (2,846 ) on March 2014 (1,852 ) and are up 59 per cent in the first quarter compared to 2014.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV ) are marginally up this month 5.5 per cent (241 ) compared with March 2014 (236 ) but remain down 15 per cent year to date.

As has become the norm most months Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen issue their press releases with their best success slant on the latest figures.

Ford top-selling brand in Ireland’s car and van market

This month Ford again go with being the top-selling brand in Ireland’s car and van market - this time for March. Ford achieved a 13.1 per cent share (2,911units ) of the overall market during the month, followed by Volkswagen with 12.2 per cent or 2,692 units and Toyota with 10.0 per cent or 2,218 units.

Total car and light commercial vehicle sales for the month broke down as follows: 19,046 cars (up 33.2 per cent on the March 2014 figure of 14,297 ) and 3,095 light CVs (up 48.2 per cent on the March 2014 figure of 2,088 ).

Retaining its position as Ireland’s favourite van brand, Ford’s Transit range again dominated the van sales charts. Year-on-year, the company more than doubled its sales tally in the van segment – going from 434 units in March 2014 to 876 units in March of this year.

Volkswagen is the top passenger car brand

Volkswagen goes with it being the number one passenger car brand in both March and the first quarter of 2014 and now has 12.2 per cent market share for this year to date. The Golf remains the most popular car model in Ireland too, with just under 5 per cent market share.

Volkswagen Group Ireland brands (VW, Skoda, Audi, and Seat ) now account for one in four new car sales in Ireland. Some 25 per cent of all new cars registered in Ireland for the first three months of 2014 came from Volkswagen Group Ireland brands. And this is in a year that the industry has seen its strongest first quarter for new car sales since 2008.

Toyota had a big lead in the new car market in January but were passed by Volkswagen in February and they both maintain those positions in the new car market after March for the year to date.

Commenting on the figures SIMI director general, Alan Nolan said: “The increase in car registrations for the month of March is a good reflection of the growing consumer confidence in the economy which is so important for industry. The most recent CSO Consumer Price Index had confirmed a reduction in the price of cars and in the cost of fuel, with petrol and diesel prices both down. The position for consumers has also improved in relation to the availability of finance and a wider range of finance options. With disposable income also beginning to increase we can be confident that the improving volumes in vehicle sales should continue to grow over the coming months.

“The LCV statistics are extremely positive reflecting the significant improvement in the business environment, particularly in the home market, which had been so impacted over recent years.

“HGV figures are up slightly for the month of March, having been down since the start of the year, indicating that the backlog of registrations through the new Approval system is beginning to ease.

“However, HGV registrations are still down overall year to date but with the pre-registration Approval system continuing to improve we are hopeful that the HGV numbers will recover somewhat in the coming months.”

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