August, traditionally a sleepy month for the Irish automobile industry, has been performing well ahead of expectations this year. Sales are up 32 per cent on August 2014, at 6,429 sales, bringing the total of new automobile sales so far this year to 116,350 - a 30 per cent rise over the same period this time last year. It means new automobile sales for this year will easily exceed the 120,000 mark - the first time that they have done so since 2008, and putting the motor industry on course to return to the circa 130,000 sales number that is seen crucial to a healthy industry here.
Commenting on the figures, Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) Director General Alan Nolan said: "As consumer and business confidence continues to grow in the economy, we see this reflected in the increase registrations for both new automobiles and commercial vehicles for the month of August. The Industry is moving closer to normal levels of business with registrations continuing to perform month on month. The second registration period should continue to see increased activity for the next few weeks with special sales and finance offers continuing. We would expect that new automobile sales should exceed 120,000 at the end of the year given current trends."
Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) were up 32 per cent (1,643) on August 2014 (1,248) and year to date are up 52 per cent (20,066) overall. While Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) are up 24 per cent for the month of August (169) compared to the same month last year (136) and are up 10 per cent year to date.
"The Motor Industry is a key contributor to the Exchequer, with nearly €1billion from new automobile sales alone so far this year and an additional 5,600 jobs have been created in the Motor Industry since 2014. We would hope that the Government will continue to support recovery in the economy by seeking to improve take-home pay for consumers in the forthcoming budget" said Nolan.
The Volkswagen Golf was August's best selling automobile, with the Skoda Octavia in second place, the Ford Mondeo in third, Nissan Qashqai in fourth and the Opel Insignia in fifth. Volkswagen is the best selling brand so far this year, followed by Toyota, Ford, Hyundai and Nissan.