New figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry show that the sale of new cars was down 20% in November, compared to last year. Sales of new cars are down by 6.5% so far this year.

However, SIMI noted that the commercial vehicle market is faring better, up with van sales up 34% in November and 2% higher for the year.

Truck sales have jumped 123% in November, up 24% for the year. 

SIMI says that Volkswagen is the top selling make so far this year, followed by Toyota and Ford.

27% of cars sold so far this year were petrol, while 73% were diesel. The SIMI figures also reveal that silver is the most popular car colour.

SIMI's general director Alan Nolan said that while November sales are always very low (703 cars, 380 vans and 78 trucks) the year to date total gives a better picture of where the industry is.

"This shows the new car market down 6.5% on last year and as predicted, the full year sales will finish somewhere around 74,500. On the other hand, activity in the commercial vehicle sector, which is often an indication of the overall health of the economy, has been a bit more positive with an increase in the sale of both vans and trucks which is a good sign that there is some growth in this area," he added.

Mr Nolan said that there are strong indications of improved levels of activity next year. 

"Dealers across the country are reporting an increase in showroom traffic compared to this time last year with orders for 141 registrations up on last year, so many in the industry are more positive about the outlook for the first quarter of 2014," he added.