New car sales in Laois in July were up almost 12% on the same month last year, according to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.
In total 272 new cars were recorded as sold in the county in July, compared to 243 in 2019.
Nationally the figures were down 14.1% compared to 12 months ago but Laois is one of just a handful of counties to show an increase.
Since the year was split in two for registration purposes, July has always been a big month for car sales – though the 2019 figure was the lowest it had been in five years.
Across the first seven months of the year, there have been almost 200 fewer new cars sold in Laois as there was in 2019 – a drop of 16.5%. Nationally, however, that figure is closer to 30%.
Neighbouring counties Offaly, Carlow and Kildare all saw a drop in their year-on-year figures while Tipperary and Kilkenny saw an increase.
Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting on the market figures said: “While the July registration period did bring much needed activity back to showrooms, new car sales continue to disappoint, with another monthly fall.
“This is despite the fact that many quarter 2 sales had been pushed back into the 202 registration plate. COVID-19 on the back of BREXIT and an already falling new car market since 2016, now sees new car sales back to recession levels, down 30% year to date.
“Looking further into the numbers, new car sales will fall for the fourth consecutive year, with a staggering 44% reduction over the last four years.
“This slowdown is materially undermining the renewal of the National car fleet, which is not only bad for profitability and regional employment, but is also hampering Ireland’s efforts to reduce transport emissions.
“With the Budget only two months away, we need to see a reduction in VRT, to allow the car market return to normal sustainable levels, which will reduce both the age of the fleet and emissions.”