Commercial vehicles: registrations decline by 38.7% in February

Brussels, 25/03/2009 – In February, new registrations of commercial vehicles in Europe dropped by a record 38.7% to 129,580 units.

The sharp downturn affected all vehicle categories and all countries. Registrations declined by 38.1% in Western Europe and by 44.0% in the new EU Member States. On average, February counted one working day less in the month across Europe. Two months into the year, the European* market was down 37.4% compared to the same period a year ago.

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

In February, new light commercial vehicle registrations decreased by 38.1% in Europe, totaling 106,825 units. In Western Europe, 95,459 new vans were registered, 38.3% less than last year. All markets were severely affected by the crisis. Looking at the major ones, the downturn was 22.1% in France, 29.4% in Germany, 37.0% in Italy, 53.1% in the UK and 58.8% in Spain. In the new EU Member States, the largest markets were also down, 14.4% in Poland and 35.0% in the Czech Republic. Two months into the year, new van registrations had fallen by 37.4%. The French (-22.9%), German (-30.2%), Italian (-38.4%), British (-49.9%) and Spanish (-55.1%) markets all contracted, contributing to the overall 37.7% drop in Western Europe. In the new EU Member States, the downturn ranged from -10.5% (Poland) to -68.0% (Estonia), resulting in a 34.8% decrease in the region.

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

Over the month of February, 14,131 new heavy trucks were registered in Europe*, or 46.4% less than a year ago. Despite a 42.7% plunge, Germany remained the largest market with 3,185 new heavy trucks, closely followed by France (-25.9% and 3,018 units). The Netherlands fared best among the major markets, contracting by 15.2% and recording 1,264 new vehicles. Results in Italy and Spain dropped by 49.6% and 76.9% respectively. In the new EU Member States, Poland, the most important market, plunged by 71.6%. The cumulative figures from January to February show a 36.5% decrease in Western Europe and a 67.9% drop in the new EU Member States, resulting in an overall 40.5% decline. In absolute figures, Germany (-35.0) registered the most vehicles, followed by France (-29.1%), Italy (-34.1%), the Netherlands (-7.1%), the UK (-45.7%), Belgium (-21.6%), Spain (-76.5%) and Poland (-68.8%).

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

The February results in this segment are similar to the ones noted for heavy trucks, with a 43.7% downturn composed of a 39.0% fall in Western Europe and a 70.0% drop in the new EU Member States. Of the biggest markets, the Netherlands contracted by 15.4%, France by 25.3%, Germany by 38.9%, the UK by 41.6%, Italy by 43.1% and Spain by 73.6%. In the new EU Member States, the Polish market dropped by 65.5% but still remained the largest in the region. Two months into the year, new registrations fell by 38.4% in Europe*. They were down 33.9% in Western Europe and 66.5% in the new EU Member States. In absolute figures, Germany (-32.4%) ranked first with 11,367 new trucks registered, followed by France (-26.9%), the UK (-36.3%), Italy (-31.1%), the Netherlands (-7.8%), Belgium (-17.1%), Spain (-72.9%) and Poland (-63.7%).

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

The segment of buses and coaches was the only one in which a few countries posted growth. In February, new bus and coach registrations were down 20.0%. In the major markets, France (+9.7%) and Germany (+4.0%) performed better than a year ago. Italy (-14.0%), Spain (-29.3%), the UK (-29.3%) and Romania (-46.5%) all declined. Over January and February, Denmark (+92.3%), Sweden (+27.0%) and Lithuania (+57.1%) saw their markets expand. The UK (-12.1%) recorded the most new buses and coaches (1,052 units), followed by France (-11.6%), Germany (-10.0%), Italy (-16.0%) and Spain (-20.9%).

* 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
  • 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
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