New car sales have rocketed by 30% so far this year and are expected to surge by another 20% in 2016, industry bosses revealed today.
And sleepy Leitrim recorded the biggest county-by-county boom, selling 44.6% more 2015-reg motors.
Wexford , on the other hand, showed the slowest growth with a sales boost of 15.4%.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry and DoneDeal data shows the turnaround in the economy generated 3,700 new jobs in the car industry since June last year.
The sector collected €1billion for the State from new sales this year and bosses predict 150,000 models will be driven out of showrooms next year.
The boom is being partially fuelled by the reduction in petrol (-11.8%) and diesel (-16%) prices.
SIMI’s third quarter Motor Industry Review, launched yesterday in Kildare, was compiled by economist Jim Power in association with buy and sell website DoneDeal.
He said: “The recovery in the motor industry that began during 2014 gathered significant momentum in 2015 and it is turning out to be a good year, at least in terms of sales activity. Growth in car sales is making a significant contribution to employment, exchequer receipts and regional economic activity.
“New car sales next year look set to grow by at least 20% on 2015, which would translate into total sales of at least 150,000, translating into an extra 3,250 jobs in the auto sector and increased VAT and VRT revenues of €208million for the Exchequer.”
SIMI president Mark Boggan added: “It is evident the industry continues to make a significant regional and local contribution to the improvement in the labour market.
“From the quarterly report, we see every county continues to experience growth in new car sales, ranging from Leitrim with the strongest growth of 44.6% to Wexford with the lowest growth rate of 15.4%.
“While the growth rates indicate economic recovery is becoming more broad-based this positioning is uneven outside the main urban areas.”