A new report by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI ) in association with DoneDeal has shown that new car sales in Westmeath have increased by 21.6 per cent for the first half of 2014. The Second Quarter Motor Industry Review for 2014, compiled by economist Jim Power, shows that 1,116 cars have been sold in Westmeath in the first six months of the year, compared with just 918 for the first half of 2013.
The figures show that the industry is continuing to bounce back after six years of a downturn. New car sales nationwide are up by 23 per cent in the first half of the year, already selling more than in all of 2013. The Exchequer has also benefitted by over €629million in taxes from car sales this year and although motor insurance is higher, both petrol and diesel prices are lower than the same period in 2013.
Ed Tyrell, SIMI centre chairman for Westmeath, said; “These figures are a great boost for Westmeath. It shows that the work that’s being done in the county and nationally by the motor industry is making a difference. This increase means not only a boost to the economy but also to the creation of jobs in the area. Every 130 cars sold supports 1,000 jobs and we need to continue to try and rebuild the sector as it is a key driver in the economic recovery. The increase is excellent news but we need a period of stability now particularly from the Government. The current tax and VRT climate is fostering increasing sales locally and it’s important to keep this stable over the next 12-18 months.”
New car sales have increased month by month in each county around the country. Leitrim has seen the biggest increase in new car sales in 2014, up 51 per cent for the first half of 2014. Dublin has shown the lowest increase at 14 per cent but it’s Dublin that has the highest percentage of new car sales with 38 per cent of all new cars being sold in the capital.
The figures for the first half of 2014 showed that 31 per cent of the new cars licensed were imports. The review also sees positive figures in the light and heavy commercial vehicle sales. Light commercial vehicle sales are up 36 per cent from the first half of 2013, while heavy commercial vehicle sales are up 45 per cent.
The review also revealed that the most popular car body type in 2014 is hatchback (35 per cent ), diesel is the most popular fuel type (73 per cent ), with the most popular colour being silver (21.5 per cent ).
As part of the second quarter review, SIMI also undertook a survey of its members on issues within the industry. SIMI members said that 69 per cent of new car sales were directed from the internet. On safety, they said that over 67 per cent of cars presented for repair now were worse than pre-recession (2007 ).
To view the full second quarter ‘SIMI Motor Industry Review in association with DoneDeal’ log on to www.simi.ie/QuarterlyReview