Commercial vehicles: EU registrations up in March, flat over first quarter

Brussels, 27/04/2010 – In March, 8.8% more new commercial vehicles were registered in the EU* than in March 2009, marking the first increase in almost two years

The segment of light-commercial vehicles posted growth, whereas heavy duty vehicles registrations were still down. Compared with the pre-crisis situation of March 2008 new registrations decreased by 27.3%, an illustration that the sector further operates under difficult economic circumstances in the EU. In total, new registrations reached 186,469 units. March 2010 counted on average one working day more than March 2009. Over the first quarter of 2010, new registrations decreased by 1.3% compared to the same period of 2009, amounting to 431,454 units.

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

In March, 160,980 new vans were registered in the EU*, or 12.4% more than last year. All major markets posted growth, from +15.4% in Germany to +15.8% in France, +16.2% in the UK, +25.3% in Spain and +29.2% in Italy. Romania recorded the steepest decrease (-68.1%) while the Irish market expanded the most (+40.3%). Over the first quarter, France recorded the most vans (101,145) or 7.8% more compared to the first quarter of 2009. The UK (+13.3%) and Italy (+26.0%) registered about 55,000 new vehicles, followed by Germany (+6.5%) with 42,035 units, and Spain with 30,381 vans (+16.4%). Overall, 371,702 new vans were registered, or 3.8% more compared to the same period a year ago.

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

New heavy truck registrations were down 15.9% in March, totaling 14,087 units. Looking at the largest markets in this segment, only Spain posted growth (+6.7%). The Netherlands (-34.7%), France (-30.5%), Italy (-9.3%), the UK (-6.5%) and Germany (-5.0%) all saw their market contract. Three months into the year, new heavy truck registrations dropped by 30.9% in the EU*. Germany remained the biggest market despite a 23.0% contraction. Except for Poland** (+4.3%), all important markets were affected by the downturn which ranged from -0.9% in Spain to -23.0% in Germany, -30.9% in Italy, -33.1% in the UK, -35.6% in Belgium, -39.1% in France and -46.0% in the Netherlands.

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

In March, new truck registrations amounted to 22,040 units, or 10.1% less than in March 2009. Only the Italian (-7.5%), French (-22.6%) and Dutch (-32.9%) markets considerably contracted, while the British (+0.0%) and German (+0.4%) remained stable. Demand in Poland** (+1.6%) and Spain (+3.3%) somewhat grew. In the first quarter, 51,883 new trucks were registered in the EU*, or 25.8% less than in the first quarter of 2009. Except for Lithuania (+20.4%) and Slovakia (+7.0%), all markets suffered losses, ranging from -0.6% in Poland** to 59.6% in Denmark. Results were down 3.9% in Spain, 16.4% in Germany, 24.2% in the UK, 27.5% in Italy, 29.2% in Belgium, 33.5% in France and 44.4% in the Netherlands.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

New bus and coach registrations fell by 3.4% in March. Of the most important markets, the UK recorded both the most vehicles and the highest year-on-year increase (28.0%). The Italian market ranked fourth but expanded by 19.7%. France and Germany, second and third markets, were down 16.2% and 9.2% respectively. From January to March, registrations of new buses and coaches were 15.5% lower than in the first three months of 2009. Italy was the only major market to record more than a year ago (5.5%). New registrations dropped by 3.0% in the UK, 13.9% in Germany and 14.7% in France.

* 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 quote the ‘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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