Posted on Thursday 5 March 2015 by Ulster Business
Motorists in Northern Ireland renewed their thirst for that new car smell last month as sales of new motors here climbed by over 2%.
A total of 4,524 new cars were registered here during February, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a 2.4% jump on the same month last year.
But while the monthly jump will warm the hearts of motor traders, the year as a whole seems to have got off to a muted start with new car registrations since January 1 down 1.8% at 10,880.
That compares to a buoyant performance elsewhere in the UK with England up 9.4% since the start of the year, Wales up 5.3% and Scotland up 3.5%.
New car sales data is often seen as a good indicator of consumer confidence, given buyers need to be pretty sure of their future finances before committing to such an expensive purchase.
As such, the early dip for Northern Ireland could be a result of the uncertainty around the public sector spending cuts which had been hanging over Stormont and which seem to have stalled a steady recovery for the industry which had been basking in a ramp up in sales in 2014.
When it comes to marques, there’s little change at the top of the most popular league table with the Ford Fiesta continuing to dominate the top spot.
It’s followed by the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa.
There’s no sign yet of the more prestige marques which had been a feature of the most popular league table during the boom times for the economy in the run up to 2007.
Then two separate BMWs made it into the top 10 list in Northern Ireland, a sure sign of buoyant consumer confidence at the time.
|Top 10 New Car Registrations in Northern Ireland|
|Rank||Marque||Range||Year To Date|
|Total Top 10||2,951|
|Northern Ireland Grand Total||10,880|