Commercial vehicles: sharpest downturn ever

Commercial vehicle production is particularly vulnerable to low business confidence and economic uncertainty. Order intake for heavy trucks stalled at just 10,000 in the first quarter, down from 100,000 a year ago.

Without access to finance and with weak demand for products and services, many businesses hold back on new expenditure on vans, trucks and passenger vehicles. European commercial vehicle makers have called upon the EU and member states to push economic recovery by investing in infrastructure of the future including in sustainable mobility, energy and telecommunications networks, restoring access to finance, driving better regulation and implementing measures to boost fleet renewal.

"This is not a normal cycle," warned Leif Östling, Chairman of the ACEA Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers Board, "we are experiencing the sharpest downturn ever. Governments must act to prevent the failing of viable businesses, and they must do so in a coordinated way."

Key Facts:

  • 6% of turnover invested in R&D each year
  • 250,000 jobs in direct employment
  • 1.5 million more in associated industries
  • 2.6 million people employed by road transport operators
  • Global reputation for safety and environmental progress

last updated 04/12/2009