The Motor Industry Association predicts car sales this year will remain about a third lower than last year, despite a rise in registrations last month.
Transport Agency figures show new private car registrations rose 8% to 4,306 in June compared to May.
However that is down 36% on the same month in 2008.
Motor Industry Association chief executive Perry Kerr says the figures are not surprising and match what is happening around the world.
He says despite three months of improvement, the industry is predicting sales in 2009 will be about 30% lower than in 2008.
He says sales of commercial vehicles did not receive the usual boost from this year's Fieldays exhibition.
Used car registrations rose 4% to 5,406 from the previous month - down 23% on June a year ago.