Commercial vehicles: registrations down 42.4% in April

Brussels, 27/05/2009 – New commercial vehicle registrations in Europe* declined by 42.4% in April, totalling 139,870 units.

Four months into the year, the decrease was 37.3%. The downturn affected all countries and was sharper in the new EU Member States (-42.5%) than in Western Europe (-36.5%). April counted on average one working day less across the region.

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

In the segment of vans, April results were negative for all countries, ranging from -95.2% in Iceland to -23.1% in Switzerland, and an overall drop of 42.3% for Europe*. All major markets recorded a marked decline, listing Italy (-30.0%), Germany (-33.0%), France (-34.6%), the UK (-45.6%) and Spain (-58.2%). In the new EU Member States, Poland remained the largest market despite a 31.3% decrease. Slovakia (-54.9%), Romania (-61.2%) and the Czech Republic (-73.1%) saw their markets contract more severely. Four months into the year, Western Europe recorded a 36.5% decrease and the new EU Members a 42.5% drop, resulting in an overall 37.1% decline for the region. The French market contracted by 25.2%, remaining the biggest one with 121,497 new vans registered. The downturn was 27.6% in Germany, 32.4% in Italy, 45.8% in the UK and 52.8% in Spain, with the Swiss (-17.6%), the Belgian (-19.6%) and the Polish (-19.8%) markets faring slightly better in relative terms.

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

New heavy truck registrations in April amounted to 15,117 units, or 47.0% less than in the same month a year ago. Except for the Dutch and Swiss markets, which expanded by 33.0% and 22.1% respectively, all others contracted: the German by 32.8%, the French by 41.4%, the British by 46.4%, the Italian by 49.8% and the Spanish by 79.3%. In the new EU Member States, Polish new registrations dropped by 68.0%. Cumulative results from January to April show a 42.8% slump. Switzerland was the only market performing better than in the same period last year. The Netherlands (-24.7%), Germany (-30.2%), France (-32.5%), Italy (-41.1%), the UK (-43.2%) and Spain (-76.5%) all fell sharply. In the new EU Member States, the largest markets also plummeted, Poland by 69.0% and the Czech Republic by 55.9%.

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

In April, new registrations of trucks contracted by 43.5% in Europe*. Only Switzerland (+0.2%) and the Netherlands (+17.1%) improved last year’s results. The largest markets recorded important downturns ranging from 32.3% in Germany, to 38.8% in France, 41.0% in the UK, 42.3% in Italy and 75.7% in Spain. In the new EU Member States, new truck registrations in Poland dropped by 64.5%. From January to April, 96,046 new trucks were registered, or 39.7% less than over the same period a year ago. All the biggest markets contracted, ranging from -24.3% in the Netherlands to -28.0% in Germany, -29.8% in France, -36.4% in Italy, -37.8% in the UK, -72.5% in Spain and -64.3% in Poland.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

New bus and coach registrations fell by 35.3% in April across Europe*. Among the major markets, the UK recorded the most vehicles and the most limited downturn (-4.1%). Germany (-14.1%), Spain (-21.3%), France (-21.5%) and Italy (-45.6%) faced more important losses. Four months into 2009, the overall decrease in Europe* was 24.8%. The French market fared the best with a 4.7% decline, followed by the German (-8.6%), the British (-10.2%), the Spanish (-23.3%) and the Italian (-26.4%).

* 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,

Interested in ACEA press releases?

Receive them directly in your inbox!

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
back to topback to top