Figures released for the first quarter of the year show that 47,996 new cars have been sold so far, an increase of 14 per cent on last year.
The healthy level of 2011 car sales continued in Ireland during March with Ford taking the top spot in the sales charts. However Toyota remains clear market leaders after the first quarter.
According to the figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, a total of 14,426 cars were registered last month, up 785 units or a 5.8 per cent increase on the same month last year. Ford achieved a car sales volume of 1,803 units to take the top slot, followed by Volkswagen with 1,786 and Toyota with 1,523.
For the year to date after the first quarter, Toyota are clear market leaders, followed by Volkswagen. Ford are not far behind in third place, while Renault are fourth with Nissan in fifth place and Opel in sixth.
The Toyota Avensis is Ireland's best selling model so far this year, followed by the Volkswagen pair, Golf and Passat. It is also interesting to note that diesel still dominates, accounting for 70 per cent of new cars sold in Ireland in 2011.
Light commercial vehicle sales saw an even bigger increase year on year of 7.4 per cent. In March 2011, there were 1,710 vehicles sold, an increase of 118 units for the same month last year. Ford also topped the commercial vehicle sales chart in March with a total of 481 units, followed by Renault with 216 and Volkswagen with 172. For the year to date, Ford leads the way in new LCV sales, followed by Volkswagen and Renault in third.
Commenting on the latest results, Shane Teskey, managing director of Motorcheck.ie, told the Advertiser: "A lack of car finance is having a knock-on effect in the industry. Until this is addressed, new car registrations for both private consumers and business customers will continue to be seriously hampered.”