Commercial vehicles: registrations down 3.2% eight months into 2008

Brussels, 25/09/2008 – European* new registrations of commercial vehicles declined by 7.9% in July and 20.7% in August.

Concerns about the general economic situation and two fewer working days across the whole region in August contributed to this drop. Cumulative figures over eight months into 2008 show a decrease in registrations by 3.2%.

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

In July, total demand for new vans amounted to 167,014 units, or 9.3% less compared to July last year. With the exception of the German market, which posted a 4.3% growth, the major West-European markets saw the number of new registrations fall, with a decline by 4.0% in France to 41.1% in Spain. In the new EU Member States, all the main markets registered an increase ranging from 5.4% (Hungary) to 59.6% (Romania). In August, 116,945 new vans were registered in Europe*, representing a 22.2% drop compared to last year. All countries in Western Europe performed less well, including France (-8.0%), Germany (-11.6%), Italy (-21.5%), the UK (-25.3%) and Spain (-53.8%). In the new EU Member States, only Slovakia (+8.1%) and Romania (+64.4%) posted growth. Over the first eight months of the year, registrations in the segment of light commercial vehicles decreased by 4.6% in Europe*, composed of a 6.6% fall in Western Europe and a 16.8% growth in the new EU Member States.

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

In July, new registrations of heavy trucks slightly decreased (-0.9%) compared to July last year. In Western Europe, France (+3.2%), the UK (+6.1%), Germany (+16.1%) and Italy (+23.5%) improved their results, leading to an overall 2.6% growth in the region. In the new EU Member States, the growth registered in the Czech Republic (+8.3%) and Bulgaria (+28.3) did not counterbalance the decrease in all the other markets. In August, European demand for heavy trucks shrank by 12.6%, with 21,021 new vehicles registered. In Western Europe, new registrations fell by 8.1%, with a decrease in Italy (-10.5%), France (-17.7%) and Spain (-46.8%). Only the German (+19.6%) and the British (+4.4%) markets recorded an increase compared to August last year. The biggest market in the new EU Member States, Poland, contracted by 19.2%, reflecting the general downturn in the region (-33.7%). Looking at the cumulative figures over the first eight months of the year, the 7.0% growth in Western Europe counterbalanced the 6.4% decline in the new EU Member States, leading to an overall 4.7% increase in new registrations in the segment of heavy trucks. Except for Spain (-19.3%), all the main markets improved their performance compared to last year, with growth in the UK (+34.6%), France (16.0%), Italy (6.0%), Germany (+2.2%) and Poland (+4.8%).

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

In July, markets in Western Europe registered 2.8% more new vehicles than last year, while the new EU Member States saw their markets contract by 26.5%, resulting in an overall 2.6% decrease for Europe*. Similar to the situation in the category of heavy trucks, only Spain saw the number of new vehicle registrations drop (-33.8%). The Italian (+22.0%), German (+11.0%), British (9.2%) and French (5.0%) markets posted growth. In the new EU Member States, the Polish market registered 11.6% less trucks than last year. In August, European* markets registered 29,017 new trucks, or 16.5% less than in August last year. The German market (+6.8%) was an exception to the general decline observed in Western Europe (-10.4%). The number of newly registered trucks fell in the UK (-3.2%), Italy (-12.7%), France (-14.1%) and Spain (-48.0%). In the new EU Member States, a decrease was noted in all markets, except Bulgaria (+35.9%), resulting in a contraction of 42.8% for the region. Over eight months, Europe* registered 2.4% more trucks compared to last year, thanks to a 5.2% growth in Western Europe, which compensated for the 11.4% downturn in the new EU Member States. The Spanish market (-18.8%) remained on a downward trend, while the German market proved to be stable (+0.3%) and the Italian (+3.6%), French (+16.0%), British (+25.9%) and Polish (+10.7%) markets posted growth.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

Demand for buses and coaches was up 11.4% in July and stable in August (+0.7%). While the UK stood out as the biggest market in July, with 725 new vehicles registered, France proved to be the most important market in August, registering 1,061 new buses and coaches. Over the first eight months of the year, the UK remained the largest market, totaling 5,844 new registrations and improving last year’s performance by 10.9%, followed by France with 4,598 units (+8.3%), and Greece with 3,681 units (+8.7%).

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