The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI ) issued the official 162 car registrations for the month of August, showing an increase of 14 per cent (7,313 ) when compared to August 2015 (6,400 ).
Total new car sales are up 19 per cent (138,538 ) compared to the same period last year (116,195 ). Within the business sector commercial vehicles are continuing to perform well, with light commercial vehicles up 11 per cent (1,815 ) on the same month last year (1,642 ) and currently, year to date, are up 22 per cent (24,545 ) overall.
Heavy goods vehicle registrations are also up 49 per cent for the month of August (251 ) 2016 when compared to last year (169 ), with registrations up 41 per cent to date.
SIMI director general, Alan Nolan, said: “The motor industry has been working hard to deliver the continuing level of growth in what has been a noticeably more difficult market since June. As we move toward the end of the third quarter of the year, the industry remains focused on business still to be done, with strong offers still available for consumers.
“In contrast with the era before the two-period registration system was introduced, when sales were all but finished in the first quarter, the interest in new vehicle sales now tends to carry to the end of the third quarter, but obviously at a lower rate.
“We believe the industry is still on course to deliver close to 150,000 new car sales by the end of the year. Indeed, new car sales have already generated €1.2 billion for the Exchequer in VRT and VAT receipts. Our industry currently employs over 42,000 people nationwide and it is crucial that the provisions in the forthcoming Budget for 2017 support rather than undermine the State’s tax revenues and employment across the sector. It is important that Budget 2017 contains measures that improve the position of both consumers and businesses.
“The potential for post-Brexit Sterling exchange rates to drain business away from the Irish domestic economy was highlighted by the increase of 76 per cent in the number of imported used cars in July, so clearly the last thing we need at this stage is any further damaging tax increase in the forthcoming Budget. Suggestions of piecemeal increases on diesel fuel or indeed on road tax being considered, at a time when soaring insurance costs are already impacting, would be damaging and extremely ill-conceived given that a new EU emissions regime is being rolled out from next year which will require a major review of our current environmental taxation.
“Our industry, like the rest of the domestic economy, needs stability and as much certainty as is possible to support consumer and business confidence, especially given concerns regarding Brexit, in order to support a continuation of the recovery and progress of the past few years.”