Commercial vehicles: EU registrations down 7.9% two months into 2010

Brussels, 26/03/2010 – New commercial vehicle registrations decreased in February by 3.1%, with a total of 121,510 units in the EU*.

While heavy duty registrations continued to decline, light commercial vehicle registrations increased for the first time since April 2008. Two months into the year, total commercial vehicle registrations were down 7.9%, with less than 245,000 new vehicles registered. Spain (+7.4%), Sweden (8.7%), Portugal (+10.8%), Italy (+14.9%) and Ireland (+26.1%) were the only countries to post growth. With the same average number of working days across the region in February, no calendar effect occurred.

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

In February, the segment of vans recorded a 1.6% increase in new registrations. Ireland (+73.0%), the UK (+26.1%), Italy (+25.8%), Spain (+25.4%), Sweden (+20.8%), Greece (+15.2%), Portugal (+13.7%), Denmark (+3.6%) and Germany (+2.8%) contributed to the upturn. In absolute figures, France (-0.7%) registered the most vehicles. From January to February, the market remained down (-1.9%) compared to the same period in 2009. Looking at the major markets, registrations were up 23.9% in Italy, 10.5% in Spain, 8.8% in the UK, 3.2% in France and 0.5% in Germany. The biggest increase was recorded in Ireland (+42.5%), while Sweden (+21.6%), Portugal (+19.1%), Greece (+6.6%) and Luxembourg (+2.1%) performed better than last year. Elsewhere, the downturn ranged from -7.2% in Slovenia to -77.2% in the Czech Republic.

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

The segment of heavy trucks registered the sharpest drop (-31.4%) recorded in February. Ireland (+8.6%), Poland** (+14.8%) and Slovakia (+59.3%) were the only countries to post growth while the Lithuanian market remained stable (+0.0%). Germany, although down 24.6%, remained the largest market, registering 2,400 new trucks in the month, followed by France (-42.6%). All the other significant markets for trucks were also down, from -7.4% in Spain to -10.5% in Italy, -44.1% in the UK, -45.1% in the Netherlands and -49.1% in Belgium. From January to February, new truck registrations declined by 39.6%. The only three countries in the plus were Poland** (+5.3%), Slovakia (+34.6%) and Lithuania (+63.8%). Germany recorded the most vehicles, although its market contracted by 33.5%. Spain limited the downturn to -4.7% while Italy saw its market contract by 38.4%, France by 43.1%, the Netherlands by 46.5% and the UK by 53.6%.

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

February results in the category of trucks show a decrease of 26.7%. The Polish** (+7.1%), Greek (+14.8%) and Slovak (+36.5%) markets managed to expand, contrasting the overall downturn which ranged from -7.3% in Spain to 58.9% in Denmark. Registrations were down 12.1% in Italy, 16.2% in Germany, 36.6% in the UK, 36.9% in France and 47.4% in the Netherlands. Two months into the year, results were down 34.2%. Only Lithuania (+3.8%) and Slovakia (+7.8%) recorded positive figures. The sharpest decline was noted in Denmark (-62.9%). The Dutch market contracted by 48.9%, the British by 43.7%, the French by 38.6%, the Italian by 35.2%, the German by 26.6%, the Spanish by 7.7% and the Polish by 2.0%.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

New bus and coach registrations were down 14.1% in February. While the French market posted a 5.6% growth and the Italian was stable at -0.6%, both remaining the largest markets in the segment, the German market dropped by 13.2%, the British by 30.6% and the Spanish by 41.4%. Cumulative results from January to February show a 23.0% downturn as the major markets contracted, from -0.9% in Italy to -13.7% in France, -17.0% in Germany, -31.6% in the UK and -32.0% in Spain.

* Data for Cyprus and Malta are unavailable

** Sales figures NB: Commencing with the January 2010 new commercial vehicle registrations figures, the ACEA data sheet will provide new vehicle registrations in alphabetical order for the countries of the European Union, and no longer separate for Western-Europe (15) and new EU Member States (10)*. Results for the EFTA countries will continue to be reported separately. The monthly press releases will quotethe ‘EU’ figures first, followed by the ‘total Europe’ figures, adding up the EU and EFTA figures.

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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 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

  • 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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