Commercial vehicles: registrations down 37.4% eight months into 2009

Brussels, 24/09/2009 – Over summer, European* new commercial vehicle registrations continued to drop, declining by 33.7% in July and 35.1% in August.

No calendar effect occurred in either month. Registrations have now decreased for 16 months in a row. Cumulative figures from January to August show a decline in new registrations of 37.4% compared to the same period last year.

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

In July, registrations of new vans fell by 31.4% in Europe*, amounting to 114,560 units. All countries saw their market contract, from 10.1% in Switzerland to 82.9% in Lithuania. The largest markets recorded significant drops ranging from -20.3% in Italy to -22.0% in Germany, -22.5% in France, -34.0% in Spain and -37.5% in the UK. In the new EU Member States, Poland managed best the downturn with a 28.6% contraction of its market while Slovakia (-39.9%) and the Czech Republic (-80.1%) were more severely affected. In August, the downturn affected the European* market with the same intensity (-32.4%). Italy (-23.2%), Spain (-23.8%), Germany (-24.1%), France (-25.2%) and the UK (-34.8%) all faced important declines. Except for Poland (-31.9%), markets in the new EU Member States plunged even more dramatically, by 63.8% in Romania, 68.3% in Hungary and 76.6% in the Czech Republic. Over the first eight months of the year, registrations in the segment of light commercial vehicles decreased by 36.5% in Europe*, where not a single country posted growth. Markets were down 23.6% in France, 26.8% in Germany, 28% in Italy, 44.1% in the UK, 46.3% in Spain, 26.6% in Poland and 63.7% in the Czech Republic.

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

In July, the segment of heavy trucks was the hardest hit by the downturn (-53.5%). The major markets were significantly down. The considerable drops ranged from -44.2% in Germany and the Netherlands, -44.6% in the UK, 44.8% in France, -57.7% in Italy, 69.6% in Spain, -72.4% in the Czech Republic, 73.3% in Poland and 86.5% in Romania. In August, the decline was even more pronounced as the European* market dropped by 57.1%. West European markets in the Netherlands (-46.7%), the UK (-50.0%), France (-50.4%), Germany (58.4%), Spain (-65.6%) and Italy (-66.1%) did not record a milder fall than the ones in the new EU Member States where the Czech Republic plunged by 58.3%, Poland by 59.7% and Romania by 81.4%. Eight months into the year, new heavy truck registrations were down 47.9%. The new EU Member States saw their markets contract more radically than Western Europe. The Czech Republic was down 61.2%, Poland 69.0% and Romania 73.5% while the Netherlands fell by 29.0%, France 37.4%, Germany 39.2%, the UK 47.5%, Italy 49.1% and Spain 74.5%.

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

In July, a total of 19,369 new trucks were registered, or 47.7% less than in July 2008. With the downturn affecting all countries, Germany saw its market contract by 37.7%, France by 41.3%, the UK by 43.4%, Italy by 48.5% and Spain by 64.7%. Demand in Poland, which remains the largest market in the new EU Member States, dropped by 61.7%. In August, the decline of new registrations reached 50.2% in Europe, 45.0% in the UK, 46.8% in France, 46.9% in Germany, 57.8% in Spain, 59.8% in Italy and 50.0% in Poland. Over eight months, the sector of trucks suffered a 43.7% loss in Europe* compared to the same period a year ago. All markets underwent a downturn ranging from 34.1% in France to 34.7% in Germany, 41.2% in the UK, 43.2% in Italy, 69.7% in Spain and 62.7% in Poland.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

Buses and Coaches represented the only segment to have posted growth over the summer, expanding by 6.1% in July and 0.2% in August. France was the most important market both in July (+63.3%) and August (+22.6%), followed by the British market which shrank by 8.8% in July and 21.9% in August. Over the first eight months of the year, registrations of new buses and coaches declined by 16.7%. The UK proved to be the largest market despite a 12.4% downturn, closely followed by France which recorded a 9.0% gain.

* 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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