Commercial vehicles: registrations up 14.7% in first quarter 2011

Brussels, 27/04/2011 – In March, demand for new commercial vehicles was up 9.7% in the EU, compared to March last year.

Of the 208,889 new registrations**, 49,064 were recorded in the UK (+24.6%), 46,363 in France (+8.0%) and 30,730 in Germany (+19.4%). The month counted on average the same number of working days across the region in 2010 and 2011. Over the first quarter of this year, new registrations amounted to 499,456 units, or 14.7% more than in the same period a year ago. All segments posted growth, except buses and coaches. In absolute figures, France recorded the most vehicles (+11.6%), followed by the UK (+30.0%) and Germany (+30.9%) which performed similarly.

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

March results showed a 5.7%** increase in new van registrations. France (+4.4%), Germany (+13.0%) and the UK (+27.0%) performed better than last year, while Spain saw its market contract by 10.4%. In the first quarter, a total of 415,187 new vans was registered in the EU*, or 10.2% more than in the same quarter in 2010. France (+8.5%) proved to be the largest market, with 109,696 new vans, followed by the UK (+31.0%) and Germany (+24.4%). Demand for new vans in Spain was down 8.4% over that period.

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

In March, heavy trucks continued to post the strongest rebound (+58.6%), recording 22,712 new units**. All major markets also recorded double-digit upturns ranging from 44.0% in Germany to 47.8% in the UK, 48.2% in Spain and 72.7% in France. Three months into the year, growth in the segment of heavy trucks was strong across the EU*, resulting in an overall 65.0%** increase. Greece was the only market to decline (-52.7%), while Spain expanded by 43.2%, Germany by 59.4%, France by 68.7% and the UK by 82.8%.

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

The EU* recorded 30,592 new trucks in March, or 44.5% more** than in the same month last year. Growth occurred across countries, reaching 22.1% in the Netherlands, 25.4% in the UK, 38.7% in Germany, 47.4% in Spain and 58.7% in France. Over the first quarter, 76,374 new trucks were recorded in the EU*, representing a 50.7% increase** compared to the first three months of 2010. Germany (+51.2%) remained the largest market with 23,093 trucks, followed by France (+57.0%; 12,262 units), the UK (+41.3%; 8,586 units) and Spain (+44.5%; 4,198 units). Only Greece (-65.9%) and Ireland (-7.4%) faced a downturn.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

The category of buses and coaches was the only one to decline in March (-13.0%**). Looking at the most important markets, performances were diverse as Spain expanded by 55.2% while the UK shrank by 45.9%. Germany saw its market contract by 18.4% and France by 4.5%. Cumulative results from January to March, showed a 1.8% decrease** of the EU* market. The UK remained the largest although contracting by 34.2%, followed by France (-12.1%) and Germany (-5.0%). Spain was the only one to post growth among major markets (+69.8%) but lagged behind in terms of volumes (856 units).

* Data for Cyprus and Malta are unavailable

** Due to the unavailability of data from Italy since January 2011, figures reported for that country are an extrapolation made by data provider AAA. They are not actual market figures, hence the possibility of an error margin with regard to the EU totals. Italy usually accounts for 10 to 15% of the EU Commercial Vehicle market.


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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