In the first eight days of the new ‘132’ plate, 4,675 new cars have been sold, exceeding last July’s full month’s sales of 4,424. Sales have also exceeded that of July 2011.
“The first day of the new 132 plate was exceptional for sales and momentum hasn’t slowed down. Dealers are extremely busy, with customers reacting to July special offers from manufacturers and dealers.
“Normally at this time of year, garages are slowing down but it looks like July 2013 appears to have changed customers’ buying patterns. The new plate was introduced to fix the problem of seasonality in the industry; when most cars were sold in the first half of the year. While it is still early days, we are already seeing positive signs that the new system is working.
“Many dealers are reporting showroom footfall at January levels, traditionally the busiest month of the year for sales,” said Brian Cooke, Deputy Director General of the Society of The Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
Ford is the best-selling brand so far this month, with 895 sales, ahead of Volkswagen in second place with 541, Hyundai in third with 497 and Toyota in fourth with 432. At the other end of the scale, Porsche and Daihatsu have both sold only one car each so far.
While the overall figures look impressive, the situation is not entirely rosy. Sales had plummeted a massive 73 per cent in June compared to the same period in 2012, and, even with these strong July figures, dealers and distributors will have to work hard to keep any momentum in sales going. For the whole year, total sales are still likely to come in just under the 70,000 units mark – close to the all-time low of 2009.