Apart from figures on industrial production, the Central Statistics Office will on Friday also be releasing data on new private cars licensed in Ireland for the opening month of 2014. There were 639 new private cars licensed in December 2013, compared with 774 in the same month in 2012, a decrease of 17.4%. For the whole of 2013, new cars licensed totalled 71,348, 6.4% lower than the figure of 76,256 in 2012. <p>

Ever since the ending of the ‘scrappage scheme’ in June 2011, the motor industry has struggled. With consumer demand still very weak and households saving and paying down debt rather than spending, the immediate outlook for the motor industry remains uncertain. That said, the new registration system introduced from the start of last year did boost sales in the second half of 2013. <p>

<b>Furthermore, figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show new car sales got off to a very strong start in 2014, with almost 23,000 vehicles sold. We are looking for a year-on-year rise of 30% in new private car licences for January.
<p><h5>Alan McQuaid</h5>

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