Commercial vehicles: Sustained growth in registrations four months into the year

Updated 3:00 p.m.

Brussels, 27/05/2008 - Four months into the year, European markets (EU27+EFTA) registered 942 412 new commercial vehicles, which is 3.2% more than during the same period last year. In April, new registrations increased by 7.1%, amounting to 241 333 units. The upturn concerned all categories of vehicles, bolstered by two to three extraworking days in most countries.

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

The extra working days in the month helped improving the April results by 5.5%, as European markets recorded 195 671 units. In Western Europe, 174 992 vehicles were registered, which is 3.4% more than in April 2007. Germany, France and Italy all positively contributed to the results with growth rates ranging from 3.6% to 27.0%. The British market remained stable (-0.4%) and the Spanish one further decreased by 13.9%. In the new EU Member States, a growth of 27.9% was posted, representing 20 679 new vans. Poland and the Czech Republic registered over 5 000 vehicles each, increasing their performance of last year by more than 20%. Romania, Slovakia and Hungary constitute the three next largest markets with respectively 2 749, 2 494 and 1 933 new registrations. Over the first four months of the year, 81% of new vehicles registered were vans. The segment was stable, slightly increasing by 0.7%. France was the biggest market, recording 162 393 new light commercial vehicles, followed by the UK with 115 871 units. Spain, despite a downturn of 21.6%, ranked fifth with 72 843 new registrations.

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

In this segment, monthly figures show a stronger growth in Western Europe (15.6%) than in the new EU Member States (2.9%). Italy, the UK and France posted strong growths of respectively 49.7%, 46.3% and 37.4%. In absolute figures, the stable German market (+2.3%) registered the most trucks (6 367 units). In the new EU Member States, only Poland, despite a 1.3% decrease, recorded more than 1 000 new registrations. Cumulative figures followed a relatively similar pattern. From January to April, 23 158 new trucks were registered in Germany and 18 150 in France. The rise in Western Europe was 14.6% while the new EU Member States improved their performance by 5.8%, totaling 16 884 new registrations. The Polish market stood out, registering 6 7111 new heavy commercial vehicles from January to April.

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

In April, demand for commercial vehicles over 3.5t was up 16.3% in Western Europe and down 6.4% in the new EU Member States. The German market ranked first with almost 10 000 new registrations, the French and British markets came next, recording over 5 000 units each. Results were stable for Poland, which, with over 2 000 units to its account, registered twice as many vehicles as the second biggest – and equally stable – market in the new Member States, the Czech Republic (+2.0%). Cumulative figures show a sound 13% rise for Western Europe but also an increase of 10.9% for the new EU Member States. The German market maintained its first place in spite of a slight decrease (-2.4%) while two other main markets posted strong growths: 39.9% for the UK and 31.1% for France.

New Buses & Coaches over 3.5t

Demand for new buses and coaches was up 42.7% in April and 26.2% over the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2007. New registrations increased in almost all countries. France, although performing less well than Germany in April, recorded better results from January to April, totaling 2 239 new buses and coaches. Over the same period, the UK registered the most vehicles (3 108), posting a 32.5% growth. Romania was the third biggest market with 2 130 units registered, doubling its figure for the period from January to April.

NB: ACEA press releases on commercial vehicles have been covering Bulgaria and Romania since January 2008

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