A report conducted by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry and DoneDeal has revealed a 21 per cent increase in car sales in Westmeath on this time last year.
Car sales in Westmeath have continued to increase up to the end of the third quarter, with a 21.4 per cent increase compared to the first nine months of 2014. Up to the end of September this year, 1,869 cars had been sold in the county, an increase of around 300 on the first three quarters of last year. The good news continued into October with another 37 cars sold, despite it traditionally being a quiet month for sales.
Keith Colton, SIMI representative and director of Colton Motors, said: “The continued increase of sales in Westmeath is a big positive for the area. The motor industry is to the fore of recovery across the country and this is no different in Westmeath. This shows a great increase in consumer confidence across the county, which is helping to create jobs and pumping more money into the local economy and is a huge boost for the region.
“The acceptance in the recent Budget that the motor industry should be let continue to grow without any additional taxes has shown that it’s working and that it will continue to work into 2016.”
This positive nine-month story has continued into October, with figures from SIMI last week showing new registrations remain 30 per cent ahead of 2014. The 152 plates can be seen to have had a very significant impact on car sales, as registrations in the third quarter were 41.1 per cent ahead of the same period in 2014. Sales of light commercial vehicles are up 43 per cent and heavy goods vehicles are also up 6 per cent.
Economist and author of the report, Jim Power, said: “The recovery in the motor industry that commenced during 2014 has gathered significant momentum in 2015 and it is turning out to be a good year, at least in terms of sales activity. The growth in car sales is making a significant contribution to employment, Exchequer receipts, and regional economic activity.
“New car sales in 2016 look set to grow by at least 20 per cent on 2015, which would translate into total sales of at least 150,000, translating into an extra 3,250 jobs in the auto sector and increased VAT and VRT revenues of €208 million for the Exchequer.”