FIGURES RELEASED TODAY from the Society of the Irish Industry (SIMI) show that car sales in February were down 8 per cent on the same month last year. For the year in total, sales are down 15 per cent but sales of heavy commercial vehicles were up 16 per cent last month.
Light commercial vehicles were down 18 per cent and sales of passenger cars are down from 17,237 in January to 10,617 last month.
The top selling car make was Volkswagen, followed by Ford and Toyota. The Nissan Qashqai was the top selling car model with the Volkswaen Golf and Ford Focus coming second and third.
The most popular car colour was black at 23 per cent with silver and grey following close behind.
(If you have trouble viewing this image, click here.)
94 per cent of cars sold so far this year fall in the two lowest CO2 emission categories, 26 per cent sold were petrol and 74 per cent were diesel.
Commenting on the figures today, deputy general director of SIMI Brian Cooke said that while sales fell in February, the decline was “significantly less than it had been in January.
“We weren’t expecting any significant boost from the new number plate system in year one, but at least people now understand that the new system will be continued in future years and the misconception that it was for this year only has dissipated,” he said.
“We still however expect the new registration plate to take some time to take hold, and hopefully it will continue to create interest as more and more of the new plates are seen on the roads. Clearly sales in March will be closely watched as the first quarter will be crucial as to how the year pans out.”
Related: Motoring industry reports 11.5pc drop in new cars sold in 2012>
Read: First look: Here’s what the new 2013 numberplates will look like>