Commercial vehicle registrations down 9.6% in first quarter

Brussels, 27/04/2012 – In March, new commercial vehicle registrations dropped by 11.8%, totaling 184,235 units in the EU*

Brussels, 27/04/2012 – In March, new commercial vehicle registrations dropped by 11.8%, totaling 184,235 units in the EU*. With the exception of Germany (+0.3%), all other significant markets shrank, from -7.0% in the UK to -11.2% in France, -22.1% in Spain and -45.4% in Italy. Over the first quarter of 2012, demand was down 9.6%, compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Downturn prevailed across countries as new registrations fell by 1.0% in Germany, 5.8% in France, 8.9% in the UK, 22.6% in Spain and 36.1% in Italy. In total, the EU* recorded 451,244 new commercial vehicles.

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

In March, with 151,007 new vans registered, the segment of vans faced the sharpest drop since October 2009 (-13.8%). The German market slightly contracted (-1.0%), while all other major markets experienced double-digit downturns, which ranged from -11.1% in the UK to -12.0% in France, -20.0% in Spain and -47.7% in Italy. From January to March, results were diverse across markets as demand in Germany was stable (+0.1%), whereas France saw its market down by 6.6%, the UK by 14.7%, Spain by 21.7% and Italy by 37.7%. A total of 368,763 new vans were registered, or 11.2% less than in the same period in 2011.

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

In March, the EU* counted 21,913 new heavy trucks, which is 4.1% less than in March last year. The UK (+3.0%) and Germany (+6.3%) posted growth, unlike France (-2.4%), Italy (-14.7%) and Spain (-34.5%). Three months into the year, the EU* truck market contracted by 3.1% with 56,135 new vehicles registered. The German market remained the largest although down 2.9%, followed by the French which was stable at +0.5%. The UK ranked third in absolute figures but was the only major market to grow substantially (+15.8%). Italy (-18.0%) and Spain (-21.7%) saw their markets considerably shrink.

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

March results were also negative for truck registrations which were down 3.4% and totaled 29,856 units. Germany and the UK grew by 2.1% and 20.1% respectively, while France (-3.4%), Italy (-25.0%) and Spain (-35.2%) all contracted. In the first quarter, the 74,702 new trucks recorded in the EU* represented a 2.4% decrease compared to the first three months of 2011. Despite the expansion of the second and third largest markets, France (+2.1%) and the UK (+28.7%), the downturn affecting Germany (-4.4%), Italy (-22.7%) and Spain (-23.6%) led to an overall decrease of new registrations in the region.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

In March, buses and coaches were the only segment to post growth (+17.9%), sustained by the strong demand in the UK (+86.7%) and Germany (+22.6%). From January to March, the UK (+70.1%) and Germany (+18.8%) remained the largest markets, followed by France (-11.5%). In total, 7,779 new vehicles were registered in the EU*, or 6.2% more than in the same period last year.

* 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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