Commercial vehicles: registrations down 17% in October

Brussels, 25/11/2008 – In October 2008 new registrations of commercial vehicles in Europe* totaled 204,118 units, a decline of 17.0% compared to the same month last year

Both Western Europe (-17.5%) and the new EU Member States (-13.3%) contributed to the downturn. The European market has contracted for sixth consecutive months, resulting in a 5.3% decline over the ten first months of 2008. The cumulative 5.9% growth in the new EU Member States could not compensate the 6.6% drop in Western Europe. No calendar effect occurred in October as the number of working days was about the same compared to 2007** across the whole region.

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

In October, the segment of light commercial vehicles was the most affected by the downturn, falling by 18.3% compared to October last year. In Western Europe, 144,156 new vehicles were registered, 19.3% down on last year’s result. While the French market, the biggest for this segment, remained fairly stable (-0.9%) and the German moderately decreased (-6.7%), the Italian (-20.2%), the British (-35.5%) and the Spanish (-52.0%) markets recorded a more marked decline. In the new EU Member States, demand for new vehicles dropped by 10.0%. Poland (-9.0%) and the Czech Republic (-18.6%) remained the largest markets of the region, followed by Romania (-8.9%), Slovakia (+6.6%) and Hungary (+10.2%). From January to October, the market contracted by 6.6% in Europe*, resulting from an 8.5% drop in Western Europe and a 13.3% cumulative growth in the new EU Member States. Among the major markets in Western Europe, France and Germany improved their results compared to last year by 2.8% and 4.4% respectively. Italy (-4.0%), the United Kingdom (-10.6%) and Spain (-34.9%) saw demand for new light commercial vehicles decrease. In the new EU Member States, the major markets posted growths ranging from 4.3% (Hungary) to 54.4% (Romania).

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

Over the month of October, registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles decreased in Europe* (-14.4%), with a decline both in Western Europe (-12.3%) and in the new EU Member States (-26.3%). With the exception of France (+3.2%) and the Netherlands (+9.9%), all major markets in this segment contracted: Spain by 52.5%, Italy by 21.1%, the UK by 8.7%, Germany by 8.5% and Poland by 43.2%. The cumulative figures ten months into the year show a 1.5% growth as the Western Europe results (+4.0%) counterbalanced the 10.9% downturn in the new EU Member States. Apart from Spain (-26.3%) and Poland (-4.4%), most of the important markets posted growth. The UK improved its cumulative results by 27.0%, the Netherlands by 22.9%, France by 12.7%, Germany by 3.6% and Italy by 0.2%.

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

In October, registrations in this segment dropped by 13.8% in Europe*. In Western Europe, the number of new registrations declined by 10.5%, with a decrease in Spain (-50.0%), Italy (-20.2%), the UK (-9.4%) and Germany (-3.2%). France and the Netherlands increased registrations by 5.6% and 18.0% respectively. In the new EU Member States, the Polish market was down 36.1%. Ten months into the year, new registrations slipped by 0.6% in Europe* as they were up 2.6% in Western Europe and contracted by 16.3% in the new EU Member States. Only Spain faced an important downturn (-25.2%) while the Italian market slightly shrank and the Dutch (+24.6%), the British (+18.2%), the French (+13.2%) and the German (+2.0%) posted growths. Poland improved its performance by 1.0% compared to last year.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

Demand for new buses and coaches in Europe* increased by 13.9% in October and 8.5% ten months into the year. With the exception of Greece (-7.7%), Spain (-9.3%), the UK (-11.0%) and the Netherlands (-17.3%), all markets posted growth from January to October.

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

** One extra working day for Austria, Portugal and Spain; one day less for Greece, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Hungary ACEA press releases on commercial vehicles have been covering Bulgaria and Romania since January 2008.


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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