NEW car sales in County Louth in the first month of 2011 were at their highest level in three years, new figures have revealed.
In total 581 cars were sold throughout the county between January 1 and January 31 – up almost 24pc on the figure of 472 sold in the month of January last year.
In what is a welcome boost for the local motor industry, sales are also significantly up on the 2009 sales for the first month of the year when just 458 cars were sold.
Sales are still almost 56pc down on the 2008 figure of 1,291 but local car dealer Alan Meehan of Meehan’s Toyota on the Dublin Road, Dundalk said the sales for the first month of the year were “very positive” and that while new car sales were unlikely to ever reach 2008 levels again, the industry was now “sustainable” based on the early outlook for 2011.
The sales figures for Louth were the eighth highest in the country, with sales nationwide also up as 21,338 new cars were sold across the country throughout January.
The biggest selling car make in the county in the first month of the year was Toyota, who sold 113 models, with Ford not far behind with 104 sales.
Renault, who were the biggest selling manufacturer in the county last year, were in third place with 63 sales followed by Volkswagen on 53.
There were also a good portion of high end cars bought in the county with 14 Audis, nine Mercedes Benz and 8 BMWs bought.
The only Jaguar in the country outside of Dublin was bought in County Louth while the only 2011 registered Chrysler in the whole of Ireland was also bought here.
As well as the obvious big winners, Toyota and Ford, there was good news for some other manufacturers with sales of Seat cars trebling on the same month last year while Kia sales were also dramatically up by over double.
Unsurprisingly, considering their sales figures Toyota had the top two selling models in the county with 34 Avensis sold and 33 Yaris. Ford had the next two most popular models in the Fiesta (31) and the Focus (30).
The Volkswagen Golf was close behind with 22, followed by the Renault Fluence (20) and Clio (19). The Toyota Corolla and Auris also sold 19 models each as well as the Nissan Qashqai.
Of the total number of cars sold 410 were diesel models, 161 were petrol, 9 were flexifuel and just one was hybrid.
Meanwhile, motorbike sales were also up with three models sold in January, compared to just one in the same month last year. The three models were the Yamaha XT1200Z, the Suzuki DL 1000 and the Superbyke Powerband 125.
It was also a good month for commercial sales which jumped by 27.8pc on last year’s figures for the first month of the year from 36 to 46.
Ford were the biggest seller in this sector with 15, followed by Volkswagen with 6. The Ford Transit sold 12 models while the VW Caddy sold five.