Commercial vehicle registrations: -10.1% over four months; -11.9% in April

Brussels, 30/05/2012 – In April, demand for new commercial vehicles decreased by 11.9% in the EU*, dropping in most markets. New registrations fell by 1.2% in France, 1.6% in Germany, 13.3% in the UK, 28.9% in Spain and 38.6% in Italy

Brussels, 30/05/2012 – In April, demand for new commercial vehicles decreased by 11.9% in the EU*, dropping in most markets. New registrations fell by 1.2% in France, 1.6% in Germany, 13.3% in the UK, 28.9% in Spain and 38.6% in Italy. Four months into the year, downturn continued its course (-10.1%) as all major markets shrank. France remained the largest market, despite a 4.7% contraction, followed by Germany (-1.2%) and the UK (-9.8%). Spain (-24.1%) and Italy (-36.7%) recorded more severe drops. In total, 589,987 vehicles were registered throughout the period.

New Light Commercial Vehicles up to 3.5t – “vans”

In April, the segment of vans recorded the largest decrease (-13.3%), with a total of 110,573 units. While the French market remained stable (-0.5%) and the German slipped by 1.9%, the British (-19.8%), Spanish (-30.4%) and Italian (-38.3%) faced a double-digit downturn. From January to April, the EU* registered 479,456 new vans, or 11.7% less than in the same period a year ago. Looking at the major markets, downturn ranged from 0.4% in Germany to 5.2% in France, 15.7% in the UK, 23.8% in Spain and 37.8% in Italy.

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles over 16t (excluding Buses & Coaches) – “heavy trucks”

In April, 18,930 new heavy trucks were registered, or 7.0% less than in the same month last year. Performances varied across countries as Germany (+3.5%) and the UK (+11.8%) posted growth, whereas France (-6.8%), Spain (-13.6%) and Italy (-41.1%) saw their demand decline. Four months into the year, new heavy truck registrations were down 4.2%, amounting to 75,189 units. The largest markets, Germany (-1.2%) and France (-1.4%) contracted the least. Spain (-19.9%) and Italy (-23.8%) experienced more considerable downturns, while the UK was the only market to post growth (+14.7%).

New Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t (excluding Buses & Coaches) – “trucks”

Results in the truck segment varied in April, as Italy (-44.4%), Spain (-13.9%) and France (-5.8%) performed less well than last year, while the German market remained stable and the British expanded (+17.2%). In total, 25,447 new trucks were registered, or 6.9% less than in April 2011. Cumulative results from January to April were also contrasted, leading to an overall 3.6% decline in the EU* which totaled 100,133 new trucks. The French market stayed unchanged, while the German slightly declined (-3.2%) although remaining the largest. Spain (-21.4%) and Italy (-28.3%) contracted more sharply.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

In April, buses and coaches were once again the only segment to record somewhat positive results (+0.6%), mainly driven by the British market (+13.3%). From January to April, it posted a strong 52.1% upturn, while all others declined, except for the German (+6.7%). Both markets contributed to sustaining demand, leading to an overall 4.9% growth of the segment which totaled 10,398 units.

* Data for Malta unavailable


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels-based trade association of the 16 major car, van, truck and bus producers in Europe.
  • The ACEA commercial vehicle members are DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ford Trucks, Iveco Group, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit for more information about ACEA, and follow us on or
  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Statistics Manager,

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 13 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.4 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €374.6 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €79.5 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
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