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Drivers here opting for value brands alongside more practical models

JIM McCAULEY

NORTHERN Ireland buyers follow two distinct trends: practical small cars alongside smaller family hatchbacks while significant gains can also be seen in the value brands with Kia, Hyundai and Skoda doing well in the Ulster Bank survey.

Their combined sales were shown to have risen from one in 20 in 2007 to one in eight of all new cars sold now. All of the UK has shown year-to-date growth compared to the same period last year, although Northern Ireland managed 7.5% behind the national average of 10.49%.

Top seller here in August was the Vauxhall Astra followed by the Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta. However, Ford holds out to be the dominant seller year-to-date with the Fiesta topping the Focus to take the top two spots. The Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Nissan Qashqai completed the Top Five, accounting for 5,975 of the total 33,810 sales for the first eight months of the year. Sales in Greece and Romania have experienced falls of 80% between 2007 and 2012.

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