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Ireland 2013 New Car Sales Down 6.6%

New car registrations in Ireland declined last year, despite strong recovery in the second half of the year, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said Friday.

In 2013, sales of new cars dropped 6.6 percent or by 5,271 units to 74,303 from 79,574 in the previous year.

New car sales in December dropped 33 percent or by 104 units year-on-year to 212 from 316 cars.

Looking ahead, the Irish automobile industry remains very positive for the new car market, SIMI said.

"Dealers around the country have been reporting an increase in showroom traffic and stronger sales activity for the new 141 registration period in January compared to last year," SIMI Director General Alan Nolan said.

"The Commercial Vehicle sales figures are also an indication of recovery in the sector and the latest jobs figures from the CSO show 1,000 more people working in the Motor Industry now compared to the middle of 2013."

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