Commercial vehicle registrations: +3.2% in 2018; -4.0% in December

Brussels, 24 January 2019 – In December 2018, commercial vehicle registrations across the EU were down 4.0% compared to the last month of 2017.

Total new commercial vehicles

In December 2018, commercial vehicle registrations across the EU were down 4.0% compared to the last month of 2017. Demand contracted across all segments, but heavy trucks and buses saw the highest drops. Both Spain (+6.7%) and France (+1.9%) posted growth, while registrations of new commercial vehicles fell in Italy (-12.1%), the United Kingdom (-9.5%) and Germany (-4.4%).

Overall in 2018, EU demand for commercial vehicles went up by 3.2% compared to 2017, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth. Roughly 2.5 million commercial vehicles were registered across the European Union, representing the highest volume on record since 2007. Demand declined in Italy (-4.1%) and the UK (-1.9%), but the Spanish (+6.5%), French (+4.9%) and German (+4.6%) markets performed very well in 2018.

New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5t

In December, registrations of light commercial vehicles were 2.4% lower than one year ago. Among the major EU markets, Spain (+9.9%) posted the highest increase, followed by France (+2.9%). At the same time, demand for new vans slowed down in Italy (-11.5%), the UK (-8.8%) and Germany (-3.2%).

In 2018, new van registrations surpassed the two-million mark for the first time since 2007, recording a 3.1% increase compared to 2017. Spain (+7.8%), Germany (+5.4%) and France (+4.6%) posted growth, while demand for light commercial vehicles contracted both in the United Kingdom (-1.3%) and Italy (-6.0%).

New heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) of 16t and over

December 2018 results in the heavy truck segment were significantly lower (-12.9%) than in December 2017. With the exception of France (+1.5%), all major markets faced declines − with Spain (-24.3%), Italy (-22.8%) and Germany (-12.2%) posting double-digit drops.

2018 was a positive year for heavy truck registrations, despite the slowdown observed in December. Overall 311,959 new vehicles were registered across the EU during the year, or 3.4% more than in 2017. The United Kingdom (-5.4%) and Spain (-4.2%) saw demand for heavy trucks decline last year, but France (+9.1%), Italy (+5.0%) and Germany (+3.1%) contributed positively to full-year EU growth.

New medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCV) over 3.5t

In December 2018, EU demand for new trucks decreased by 11.6% compared to the same month one year ago. Among the five big markets, the French was the only one to show a slight increase (+1.0%). By contrast, Italy (-18.1%), Spain (-17.7%), the UK (-11.5%) and Germany (-9.9%) all recorded strong declines.

Last year, new truck registrations across the European Union grew by 3.5% compared to 2017. Full-year results were diverse among the five key EU markets. France (+8.1%), Italy (+5.1%) and Germany (+2.9%) posted positive results in 2018, but truck demand fell in the UK (-4.0%) and Spain (-2.0%).

New medium and heavy buses & coaches (MHBC) over 3.5t                

December results showed a strong decline (-13.4%) in bus and coach registrations. France saw the highest drop (-46.2%), followed by the United Kingdom (-27.5%) and Spain (-16.7%). By contrast, demand for buses increased in Germany (+5.4%) and Italy (+5.0%) during the last month of 2018.

Overall in 2018 41,992 buses and coaches were registered across the EU, up 1.3% compared to the year before. Growth was largely driven by the Central European markets (+18.6%), giving full-year EU results a crucial boost. On the other hand, all major Western European markets contracted in 2018 − with the exception of Italy, which recorded strong growth (+36.7%).


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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