Commercial vehicles: Low April truck registrations mirror last year’s rise ahead of digital tachogra

Brussels, 24/05/2007 - New European van registrations rose by 7% in April 2007. New heavy truck registrations, however, plunged by 40.3% compared with April 2006. This result is attributable to one extra working day across the whole region and growths posted on the main markets (EU15 +6.1%) and in the new EU member states (+21.8%).

New Light Commercial Vehicles up to 3.5t

In total, 180,783 new vans were registered in April 2007 in Europe (EU23+EFTA), representing an increase of 7% with respect to April 2006. This result is attributable to one extra working day across the whole region and growths posted on the main markets (EU15 +6.1%) and in the new EU member states (+21.8%). Apart from Italy (–0.3%), the other four largest markets saw their van registrations increase. The best performer was the UK (+10%), followed by Spain (+7.4%), Germany (+3.6%) and France (+1.9%). Among the smaller EU markets, only Greece (–6.4%), Austria (–7.5%) and Hungary (–21.6%) suffered losses as the majority of the remaining markets posted sound, two–digit growths. The new EU members maintained their strong performance, with Latvia (+87.2%), Slovenia (+60.9%) and Poland (+38.2%) as front–runners. Overall, comparing with the previous year, 5.6% more vans were registered in Europe in the first four months of 2007. With the exception of Greece (–6.7%), all other EU15 countries improved their results (EU15 +4.4%). New Member States remained on an upturn path (+23%), with two or three–digit growths posted by all countries apart from Hungary (–4.7%) and Lithuania (same result as last year).

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles over 16t (excluding Buses & Coaches)

New heavy truck registrations in Europe (EU22+EFTA) plunged in April 2007 by –40.3%. This result must be put into perspective as last April’s results were heavily distorted by the rush in purchases ahead of digital tachograph legislation coming into force in May 2006. All main markets suffered high losses, Germany having registered 60.6% heavy trucks less than April last year. France (–34.1%), the UK (–29.9%), Italy (–19%) and Spain (–4.7%) also followed a downward trend. Only Greece (+42.9%) and Belgium (+41.5%) improved their results. New Member States’ heavy truck registrations declined much less (–18.3%) than in the EU15 (–43.6%) thanks to growths posted by Slovenia (+17.8%), Poland (+16.3%), Estonia (+11.8%) and Lithuania (+2%). First quarter positive trend was reversed by the April figures: the majority of the EU15 countries saw their results deteriorate as compared with last year (EU15 –14.7%). On the contrary, new Member States sustained their positive, although reduced, result (+19.9%).

New Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t (excluding Buses & Coaches)

Reflecting the market reaction on the regulatory developments in the heavy truck sector (digital tachograph in May, Euro 4 in October 2006), registrations of new commercial vehicles above 3.5t fell by 44.9% in April 2007. In total, 35,200 trucks were registered in Europe (EU22+EFTA). The new EU members’ decline was moderate (–13.8%) compared with the EU15 result (–48.9%). Apart from Belgium (+30.2%), new truck registrations slowed down in April in all EU15 countries. Among the main markets, the UK suffered the highest loss (–63.4%), followed by Germany (–58.2%), France (–33.5%), Italy (–17.8%) and Spain (–1.3%). New truck registrations soared for the fourth consecutive month in Poland (+33.7%), Estonia (+14.5%), Slovenia (+8.9%) and Lithuania (+3.2%), contributing to reduce the new EU members’ overall loss (–13.8%). Cumulative figures show a mixed picture, with the EU15 decreasing by –18.1% and new Member States still on an upturn path (+21.4%).

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

The market for new buses and coaches in Europe (EU21+EFTA) further declined in April 2007 (–53.1%). The main national markets experienced a downturn (apart from Greece +15.6%), with registrations falling by –71.6% in France, –60.7% in Germany, –33.5% in Italy, –27.3% in the UK and –19.8% in Spain. On the whole, the European bus and coach market downsized by 16% in the first four months of 2007.

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