* See the Top 244 All-models and Top 37 All-brands by clicking on the title *
2014 marks the second year for Ireland’s new bi-annual license plate system aligned with the UK, and also the first year it seems to frankly have had positive results on new car sales. The year started with a bang with January deliveries up 33% year-on-year, then February up 20%, March up 34% and July up 61% sealed the fate of 2014 which ends with a very impressive 30% surge to 96,338 registrations. Volkswagen confirms it is the favourite brand of Irish car buyers, holding the top spot for the third consecutive year thanks to 11,670 sales and 12.1% ahead of Toyota (10.7%), Ford, Hyundai and Nissan with the Top 7 best-selling manufacturers unchanged on 2013.
The biggest gainers this year in Ireland are Maserati (+500%), Ssangyong (+258%), Alfa Romeo (+125%), Porsche (+96%), Lexus and Chrysler (both at +92%), Renault (+47%) and Mercedes (+42%). But the most impressive progression goes to the French-Romanian low-cost brand Dacia, launched in 2013 in the country and up 110% to rank #13 overall with 2,695 sales and 2.8%. Most importantly, Dacia took advantage of slower months towards the end of the year to place the Duster in pole position in August and the Sandero at #1 in October, with the carmaker ranking #2 overall that month. This is an exceptionally fast acceptance of an all-new brand in the Irish market.
In the models ranking, the Top 4 best-sellers are the same as in 2013, namely the VW Golf #1 for only the second year ever in Ireland thanks to 4,574 sales and 4.7%, the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta. Illustrating the fact that Ireland is one of the last European country to have a dear love for sedans, the Toyota Corolla is up 175% and 15 spots on 2013 to land in 5th place with 3.1% share thanks to the new generation. Compact SUVs are in vogue in Ireland as it is the case in most of Western Europe: the Hyundai ix35 is up 79% to #7, the Kia Sportage up 34% to #11, Dacia Duster up 74% to #16, Toyota RAV4 up 88% to #22, Renault Captur up 1219% to #24, VW Tiguan up 120% to #26, Opel Mokka up 128% to #33, Peugeot 2008 up 506% to #54 and the Honda CR-V is up 181% to #60.
Notice also the Opel Insignia up 35% to #12, the Nissan Note up 166% to #28, Dacia Sandero up 162% to #36, Hyundai i10 up 170% to #39, Peugeot 308 up 111% to #49 and the BMW X5 up 631% to #84. The Mercedes GLA is the most successful all-new nameplate in 2014 in Ireland at #123 ahead of the Nissan Pulsar at #130, BMW 2 Series at #133 and Ford Ecosport at #144.
Previous month: Ireland November 2014: Nissan Pulsar inside Top 10
Two years ago: Ireland Full Year 2012: Ford Focus retains crown
Full Year 2014 Top 244 All-models and Top 37 All-brands vs. Full Year 2013 below.