Commercial vehicle registrations: -11.8% over five months; -17.8% in May

Brussels, 28/06/2012 – In May, new commercial vehicle registrations continued the downward trend commenced in January, facing the sharpest decrease since 2009 (-17.8%, compared to May 2011).

 The UK was the only market to post growth in the month (+10.0%), while Germany (-13.6%), France (-22.1%), Spain (-27.4%) and Italy (-42.4%) all recorded double-digit downturns. From January to May, the EU* market shrank by 11.8%, compared to the first five months of 2011. The decline ranged from -4.0% in Germany to -6.2% in the UK, -8.5% in France, -24.8% in Spain and -37.9% in Italy. In total, 735,993 new vehicles were recorded throughout the period.

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

In May, the EU* recorded 118,477 new vans, or 19.0% less than in May last year. Looking at the major markets, the UK was the only one to expand (+6.7%), while Germany (-13.9%), France (-22.7%), Spain (-26.4%) and Italy (-41.9%) all contracted. Five months into the year, downturn prevailed across markets, ranging from -3.6% in Germany to -9.0% in France, -11.7% in the UK, -24.3% in Spain and -38.7% in Italy. In total, new van registrations were down 13.3%, amounting to 597,740 units.

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

In May, demand for heavy trucks fell by 14.2%, as 18,562 new units were registered in the EU*. The UK performed better than in the same month last year (+15.8%), while the other major markets registered fewer new trucks: -13.8% in Germany, -14.4% in France, -36.1% in Spain and -41.8% in Italy. From January to May, the EU* totaled 93,757 new heavy trucks, or 6.3% less than in the same period last year. Germany (-4.1%) and France (-4.3%) performed similarly, while Spain (-23.2%) and Italy (-27.9%) posted double-digit downturns. The UK saw its demand increase by 14.9%.

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

The segment of trucks grew by 13.4% in May, totaling 25,034 units. Results were negative in Germany (-12.9%), France (-14.4%), Spain (-35.2%) and Italy (-43.9%), while the British market expanded by 20.8%. From January to May, new truck registrations were down 5.7% in the EU*. Among the major markets, the British was the only one to post growth (+24.6%), while the French (-3.2%), German (-5.4%), Spanish (-24.2%) and Italian (-31.9%) all contracted. In total, 125,145 new trucks were registered.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

In May, new bus and coach registrations were down 3.5%, despite the good performance of the British market (+109%), which remained the largest. From January to May, the positive results in the UK (+61.1%) and Germany (+2.6%), the two largest markets, counterbalanced the downturn recorded in France (-18.9%), Italy (-30.9%) and Spain (-42.5%), leading to an overall 3.1% increase of the EU* market.

* Data for Malta unavailable


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels-based trade association of the 15 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, Senior Statistics Manager,

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
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