New car sales spike - and Ireland has a new favourite brand

Long time favourite Volkswagen has struggled since news of its CO2 test cheating emerged

New car sales spike - and Ireland has a new favourite brand

Hyundai, Facebook

New car sales were up by over a third in January, 33.6% higher than 12 months ago.

During the month, 39,812 new cars with 161 registration plates rolled out of Ireland's car dealerships according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

South Korea's Hyundai was the most popular brand with Irish motorists, shifting 5,062 units during January, it was followed by Toyota with 4,852 and Ford on 4,383.

Volkswagen was the fourth most popular, Nissan was fifth and Renault was in sixth place.

The Hyundai Tucson was the best selling model, followed by the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Toyota Yaris.

In the 'premium' market Audi was the most popular brand, ahead of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

New car sales are predicted to be significantly higher than the strong performance registered last year, with between 150,000 and 170,000 new cars expected to be sold.

Last year 124,945 were sold - this was an increase of over 30% on the 96,284 sold in 2014.

2015 (124,945) finished up 30% ahead of 2014 (96,284).

Citroen, Subaru, Seat and Porsche were the only brands who experienced declines in sales.