Commercial vehicles: registrations decline by 35.6% in first quarter 2009

Brussels, 24/04/2009 – Over the first quarter of 2009, the European* market registered 451,137 new commercial vehicles, or 35.6% less than over the same period a year ago

In March, registrations were down 32.9%, with a minus of 31.1% in Western Europe and 48.7% in the new EU Member States. There were on average three more working days in March this year.

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

In March, new van registrations fell by 32.2% in Europe*, totaling 147,252 units. Western Europe recorded 136,005 new vans, or 31.1% less than in March last year. All markets were hit by the downturn, except Finland where the 13.9% increase is explained by a taxation change. In absolute figures, France registered the most vehicles (34,097) despite a 20% contraction of the market. The UK followed with 29,881 units (-42.9%). Italy (-25.6%) and Germany (-17.0%) registered 17,507 and 15,902 new vans, respectively, while the Spanish market (-42.5%) recorded 10,280 new units. In the new EU Member States, all markets were down. The Polish contracted by 23.3% and the Czech by 46.3%. Over the first quarter, the drop in new van registrations was 35.3% in Europe*, 35.1% in Western Europe and 37.4% in the new EU Member States. The downturn hit all markets. Looking at the major ones, France dropped by 21.8%, Germany by 25.4%, Italy by 33.5%, the UK by 45.8% and Spain by 50.9%. The largest markets in the new EU Member States remained Poland (-15.5%) and the Czech Republic (-39.4%).

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

In March, new heavy truck registrations were down 43.7% to 16,792 units in Europe*. In Western Europe, registrations dropped by 38.5% reflecting a downturn across the board, varying from -16.4% in Germany to -30.3% in France, -46.4% in the UK, -47.6% in Italy, -58.7% in the Netherlands and -73.0% in Spain. In the new EU Member States, results dropped by 70.5%. Poland remained the largest market, although down 69.1%. Three months into the year, the effect of the economic crisis added up to a minus of 41.5%, with a 75.5% decrease in Spain, 69.4% in Poland, 45.4% in the UK, 38.2% in Italy, 31.9% in the Netherlands, 29.5% in France, 29.3% in Germany and 21% in Belgium.

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

The March results in this segment show a 33.1% decrease in Western Europe and a 65.5% downturn in the new EU Member States, leading to an overall 37.9% drop. Looking at the major markets, the biggest fall was recorded by Spain (-68.3%), followed by Italy (-41.6%), the UK (-37.0%), France (-26.6%) and Germany (-13.4%). Over the first quarter, registrations of new trucks fell by 38.2% in Europe*. Germany performed best among the largest markets (-26.3%) and registered the most vehicles (18,262 units). France ranked second (-26.8%), followed by Italy (-34.4%), the UK (-36.6%) and Spain (-71.4%). In the new EU Member States, the Polish market contracted by 64.2% and the Czech by 47.5%.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

New bus and coach registrations fell by 21.0% in March across Europe*. Among the major markets, France (+31.6%) and Germany (+0.4%) posted growth. The UK, Italy and Spain saw their markets contract by 12.5%, 27.8% and 28.6% respectively. Three months into the year, Europe* recorded a 19.5% decrease, with only France posting growth (+1.0%) among the main markets. Results in Germany were down by 6.2%, in the UK by 12.3%, in Italy by 20.1% and in Spain by 24.0%.

* EU27+EFTA, data for Cyprus and Malta are 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
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  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Senior Statistics Manager,

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
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  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
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