Commercial vehicle registrations: +42.1% four months into 2021; +179.2% in April

Brussels, 26 May 2021 – In April 2021, the EU commercial vehicle market recorded an accelerated increase in new registrations of 179.2%, totalling 171,283 units. Last year’s very low sales base was the main reason behind this growth, as April 2020 was the first full month with coronavirus restrictions in place.

Total new commercial vehicles

In April 2021, the EU commercial vehicle market recorded an accelerated increase in new registrations of 179.2%, totalling 171,283 units. Last year’s very low sales base was the main reason behind this growth, as April 2020 was the first full month with coronavirus restrictions in place. As a result, many triple-digit percentage gains were posted across the region last month, including three of the four key markets: Italy (+642.3%), Spain (+547.3%) and France (+412.9%). With a 60.0% increase Germany also made a sizeable contribution to the EU’s overall performance.

Four months into 2021, demand for new commercial vehicles in the European Union expanded by 42.1%. Boosted by positive March and April results, total registrations reached 673,179 units so far this year. All key markets consolidated their year-to-date performances: Italy posted the highest percentage increase (+75.1%), followed by France (+62.9%), Spain (+43.8%) and Germany (+15.1%).

New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5t

April saw a huge increase (+209.5%) in sales of new vans in the EU, counting 143,185 units registered in total. This accelerated growth trend was also reflected at country level in the four biggest markets: Italy (+972.1%), Spain (+771.0%), France (+471.2%) and Germany (+70.8%).

From January to April, registrations of light commercial vehicles across the European Union jumped by 45.9% due to the strong results recorded in March and April. Each of the major EU markets saw a strong increase in demand for vans during the four-month period: Italy (+83.7%), France (+67.5%), Spain (+47.9%) and Germany (+16.5%).

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

Last month, the number of new heavy trucks registered across the European Union more than doubled (+103.3%) compared to 2020 levels, totalling 21,889 units. The four big markets made a major contribution to the region’s performance: Italy (+183.8%), France (+156.8%), Spain (+115.0%) and Germany (+44.0%).

So far in 2021, heavy truck registrations increased by 33.2% to reach 85,858 units sold in total across the EU. Each of the major markets posted double-digit percentage gains from January to April: Italy (+49.1%), Spain (+34.2%), France (+29.3%) and Germany (+17.1%).

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

In April, 26,256 new heavy commercial vehicles were registered in the EU, or 86.3% more than one year ago. Central Europe provided a strong boost (+188.7%) to this growth, with Poland – one of the leading markets in volume terms – posting a 241.2% increase in new truck registrations. Western Europe’s largest markets also performed well last month: Italy (+170.7%), France (+163.2%), Spain (+95.5%) and Germany (+32.6%).

During the first four months of 2021, EU registrations of new trucks rose by 28.5% compared to the year before. Italy saw the highest percentage growth (+46.0%) of the region’s key markets, followed by France (+32.4%), Spain (+25.3%) and Germany (+12.7%).

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

April 2021 registrations of new buses and coaches in the European Union jumped by 86.4% to reach 1,842 units sold. The four major EU markets all contributed positively to the region’s result, especially France and Spain (both growing by 103.6%). 

From January to April, EU demand for buses and coaches remained in negative territory (-1.2%) despite last month’s strong numbers. Looking at the largest markets by volume, Spain (-26.5%) posted the sharpest drop, while declines moderated in Italy (-9.7%) and Germany (-8.8%). By contrast, France was the only major market to record growth (+11.2%) so far in 2021.

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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 Trucks, Ford Trucks, IVECO, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Statistics Manager, fp@acea.auto.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.6 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.6% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €76.3 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €62 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 33% of total EU spending.
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