Commercial vehicle registrations: +21.6% first quarter of 2021; +95.3% in March

Brussels, 29 April 2021 – In March 2021, new commercial vehicle registrations in the European Union jumped by 95.3% (primarily due to last year’s low base of comparison) to reach 204,046 units. Nearly all EU countries posted double or triple-digit percentage gains, including the four major markets.

Total new commercial vehicles

In March 2021, new commercial vehicle registrations in the European Union jumped by 95.3% (primarily due to last year’s low base of comparison) to reach 204,046 units. Nearly all EU countries posted double or triple-digit percentage gains, including the four major markets. Italy, among the first to impose restrictions as the pandemic emerged in 2020, recorded the highest increase (+215.3%), followed by France (+166.7%), Spain (+151.7%) and Germany (+34.2%).

During the first quarter of 2021, the EU commercial vehicle market expanded by 21.6%, with 501,703 units registered in total. These results were boosted by last month’s upturn. As a result, all key markets improved their cumulative performances, with France (+32.6%), Spain (+11.1%) and Germany (+4.9%) moving back into positive territory and Italy further consolidating its positive result (+38.0%).

New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5t

March sales of new vans in the EU were more than double (+107.5%) the levels seen in 2020, totalling 172,288 units. Last month’s results also outperformed March 2019 volumes, when 165,455 vans were sold. Three of the four largest markets in the region recorded triple-digit increases: Italy (+268.9%), France (+183.3%) and Spain (+168.7%), while Germany also posted solid growth (+36.4%).

From January to March, registrations of light commercial vehicles surged by 23.6% across the European Union. The strong March results managed to offset the van segment’s weak performance during the first two months of the year. Demand increased in each of the key markets during this three-month period: Italy (+41.9%), France (+35.4%), Spain (+11.6%) and Germany (+4.9%).

New heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) of 16t and over

Last month, the number of heavy commercial vehicles registered across the European Union rose by 56.8% to 24,695 units. Poland – now the third EU market in volume terms – posted an impressive performance with a 127.3% increase. The four big Western European markets also provided a strong boost to the region’s growth: Spain (+96.0%), Italy (+75.6%), France (+70.6%) and Germany (+30.2%).

Over the first three months of 2021, EU registrations of new heavy trucks increased by 18.1%, counting 63,390 units in total. The European Union’s four major markets recorded double-digit percentage gains so far this year: Italy (+27.6%), Spain (+21.0%), France (+11.1%) and Germany (+10.1%).

New medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCV) over 3.5t

In March, 29,779 new heavy commercial vehicles were registered in the European Union, a year-on-year increase of 51.8%. Three of the four largest EU markets posted gains of more than 70%:  France (+73.1%), Italy (+71.3%) and Spain (+70.5%). With a 31.0% increase, Germany also made a sizeable contribution to the EU’s overall performance last month.

In the first quarter of the year, EU registrations of new trucks rose by 15.3% compared to the year before. Looking at the major markets again, Italy saw the biggest increase (+25.4%), followed by France (+13.8%), Spain (+13.7%) and Germany (+7.1%).

New medium and heavy buses & coaches (MHBC) over 3.5t                                                                                                                                       

March 2021 registrations of new buses and coaches in the European Union were 7.7% higher than in the same month last year. The four key EU markets posted mixed results last month. Registrations increased in France (+58.8%) and Italy (+6.1%), but at the same time the German (-13.0%) and Spanish (-1.0%) markets contracted.

Three months into 2021, European demand for buses and coaches fell by 12.6%, with 6,560 new vehicles registered in total across the EU. Spain (-38.9%), Germany (-20.8%) and Italy (-13.8%) posted significant losses so far in 2021, while France was the only major market recording growth (+3.8%).

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