Commercial vehicles: registrations decline by 30.8% in November

Brussels, 18/12/2008 – In November, new registrations of commercial vehicles in Europe* dropped by a record 30.8% to 169,901 units.

Markets in Western Europe and the new EU Member States decreased at the same pace, by 31.0% and 29.0% respectively, reflecting the fallout of the credit crunch. Demand declined in all markets. Results were aggravated by on average two working days less across the region**. With registrations down seven momths in a row, accumulative figures for January to November result in a decline of 7.7% compared to the same period of last year. The 1.8% growth in the new EU Member States slightly softened the 8.8% loss in Western Europe.

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

In November, demand for new light commercial vehicles decreased by 32.5% in Western Europe and 26.6% in the new EU Member States, resulting in an overall downturn of 31.8%. In absolute numbers 137,703 new vehicles were registered. The downturn affected all markets, and especially Ireland (-60.4%) and Spain (-62.6%). The UK and Italy also remained on a downward trend, dropping by 47.4% and 31.9% respectively, while France (-16.0%) and Germany (-22.2%) were hit more severely in November than in any previous month this year. The main markets in the new EU Member States faced a downturn ranging from -14.7% in Poland to – 33.8% in the Czech Republic. Cumulative figures from January to November show contrasting results in Western Europe (-10.7%) and the new EU Members (+8.3%), leading to an overall 9.0% downturn. Performance in the main markets was also diverse, with Spain dropping by 37.4%, the UK and Italy falling by 14.0% and 7.0% respectively, while Germany (+1.4%) and France (+1.0%) still posted some growth eleven months into the year. In the new EU Member States, the Czech Republic (+1.7%) and Poland (+8.5%) performed better than last year, consolidating their position as the biggest markets in the region.

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

Over the month of November, registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles decreased in Europe* (-28.1%), both in Western Europe (-26.3%) and in the new EU Member States (-39.8%). Germany remained the biggest market with 3,884 units registered. Still, registrations dropped by 34.4%. The second largest market, France, also fell, by 20.0%, followed by the UK (-16.3%). Demand for new heavy trucks went down by 27.7% in Italy, and plunged by 57.5% in Spain. The cumulative figures eleven months into the year reflect the upturn in the first half of the year and subsequent decline in the second half in the wake of the credit crunch. The Western European market per saldo posted a 1.0% growth, and the market in the new EU Member States decreased by 13.3%, resulting in a 1.3% downturn in Europe*. Of the main markets, France (+9.3%) and the UK (+20.2) improved their performances compared to last year, contrary to Italy (-2.5%), Spain (-29.3%) and Poland (-9.5%).Germany equaled last year’s performance (0.1%).

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

The November results in this segment are similar to the ones noted for heavy trucks, with a 28.2% downturn composed of a 25.1% fall in Western Europe and a 45.9% drop in the new EU Member States. As in the vans category, all markets decreased. Of the major ones, Spain dropped by 55.8%, Italy by 30.5%, Germany by 25.6%, the UK by 19.1%, France by 17.2%, and Poland by 51.4%. Eleven months into the year, new registrations fell by 3.2% in Europe*. Demand for new trucks in Western Europe matched last year’s result but registrations went down by 19.2% in the new EU Member States. The German market slipped by 0.6% while Italy (-4.1%) and Spain (-28.1%) faced a more marked downturn. The French and British markets both posted growth of 10.1% and 13.7% respectively.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

The segment of buses and coaches was the only one to expand in November (+2.2%) thanks to the growth recorded in the new EU Member States (+125.8%). From January to November, demand for this category of vehicles increased by 13.7%.

* EU27+EFTA, data for Cyprus and Malta are unavailable.

** One working day less for Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia; three fewer working days for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, same number of working days as last year for Hungary.


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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