The rise in new car sales accelerated last month, as registrations grew by 38 per cent over February 2009. And the the jump in sales of vans was even more pronounced, at 72 per cent. Even with a couple of big fleet deals by two marques, this is a remarkable sales performance for vans and light commercials.
According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, a total of 12,325 cars were registered last month, up from 8,950 in the same period last year.
While Ford remains the best-selling car brand so far this year, with 13.5 per cent of the market, the big story from the February figures is the strong performance from Toyota for the month of February.
With 14.4 per cent of the market, Toyota in Ireland appears to have weathered well all the adverse publicity from recalls in the past few weeks, with a full 3.5 per cent ahead of the nearest rival for new car sales in the past month.
Commenting on the figures, Eddie Murphy, managing director of market leaders Ford, said: “A second successive month of sales increases in both cars and vans points to some recovery in the market, fuelled by the car scrappage scheme and a replenishment need among customers who have deferred purchases from last year. I expect the positive trend to continue into March as a healthy book of enquiries translates into sales.”
In light commercials, the SIMI figures show Toyota finished ahead of Ford by six units for February, but with 18.89 per cent, Ford remains on top for the year to date.
Motorcheck.ie reports the Ford Fiesta and Focus models have proven to be first and second most popular models. And that diesel continues to outsell petrol with 59 per cent of new vehicles registered. It also claims that band B moves up a percentage point as the most common tax class with 44 per cent of all registrations.
The website further says that the colour battle gets close as only 17 registrations now separates the two most popular colours, silver from black as the most popular colour on Irish roads. It says there have been 86 convertibles registered in Ireland so far this year.
Motorsheck.ie also adds the number of used cars being imported into the state has also started to increase. Although still behind last year's figures by 25 per cent, this is a substantial improvement on the 46 per cent drop experienced in January.
Car Sales 2010
Marque Year to Date February
1. Ford 3,914 (13.5% ) 1,277 (10.4% )
2. Toyota 3,842 (13.3% ) 1,770 (14.4% )
3. VW 3,157 (10.9% ) 1,347 (10.9% )
4. Renault 2,681 (9.3% ) 1,144 (9.3% )
5. GM (Opel ) 2,108 (7.3% ) 890 (7.2% )
6. Nissan 1,751 (6.1% ) 782 (6.3% )