“Steady start” to 2012 car sales

Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

Eamonn McFadden

Donegal car sales for 2011 accounted for just over 2.34% of the national sales figure, with just over 2,000 new vehicles sold during the year.

Donegal car sales for 2011 accounted for just over 2.34% of the national sales figure, with just over 2,000 new vehicles sold during the year.

New figures released by the Society of the Irish Motoring Industry (SIMI) show that across the county 2,106 new vehicles were sold last year.

Nationally there was a total of 89,900 new vehicles registered for the first time in 2011.

The figures showed a marked decrease in sales in almost every month of the year, with the exception of April and May, from January when just over 20,000 new cars were sold, through to last December when just 375 new cars were registered nationwide.

Top selling cars were Toyota, accounting of 13.14% of the market followed by Volkswagen on 12.51%, Ford (11.69%) and Renault (9.54%).

The Ford Focus was the top selling car, followed by the Volkswagen Golf and the Toyota Avensis.

Almost half the new cars sold in 2011 were either silver or black, with both these colours accounting for 24% each out of all colours available. Motor traders in the county have reported a “steady” start to 2012.

Renault dealers, Highland Motors in Letterkenny, say while the year has not started as strongly as last year, there has been a lot of interest to date with many inquiries.

Manager at Highland Motors, Lawrence Harrigan said: “It has been a steady start. It hasn’t been spectacular by any means, but I think people who had been holding back are buying now.

“Since we opened up again there has been a flood of inquiries.”

He added the market is a little more “sceptical” in the early days of 2012, but maintained they are well placed with a “positive outlook” due to the good value deals and incentives on new vehicles.

“We have a “Bounce Back” scheme where you can get a minimum trade in value against our cars so we still have good incentives. People are now out looking and it had been steady but not up on 2010 or 2011,” he said.

The high figures in car sales in January 2011 were due to an extension granted to the Government car scrappage scheme from the previous year. It expired at the end of June last.