European Registrations Fall 11.3% In February

Demand for new commercial vehicles was down in all major European markets, leading to an overall 11.3% decline, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

The downturn ranged from 3.2% in France, to 6.9% in Germany, 16.6% in the UK, 24.4% in Spain and 29.8% in Italy. In total, 126,010 new vehicles were registered in the month, which counted on average one more working day across the EU than February last year.

From January to February, markets in Germany (-1.9%) and France (-2.5%) slightly contracted, while the UK (-11.5%), Spain (-22.9%) and Italy (-30.5%) faced double-digit downturns. Overall, the EU recorded 267,111 new commercial vehicles, or 7.9% less than in the first two months of 2011.

The breakdown:

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

The heavy truck segment declined by 9.8% in February, amounting to 15,211 units. Looking at the major markets, France (+1.0%) and the UK (+18.5%) both posted growth while Spain (-15.9%), Germany (-17.1%) and Italy (-25.3%) recorded negative results. In January-February, new heavy truck registrations declined by 2.5% in the EU, representing a total of 34,206 units. The French and British markets expanded by 2.3% and 28.2% respectively. Downturn prevailed in the other three major markets: Germany (-9.3%), Spain (-14.1%) and Italy (-19.5%).

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

Truck registrations fell by 8.2% to a total of 20,312 units. Results varied across countries as France and the UK grew by 4.5% and 24.5% respectively, while Germany (-15.6%), Spain (-17.3%) and Italy (-27.6%) recorded double-digit downturns. Over the first two months, Germany remained the largest market despite a 9.0% contraction, followed by France (+5.5%) and the UK (+37.4%) which both saw their demand increase. Spain (-16.7%) and Italy (-21.4%) fared less well, recording sharp drops. In total, the EU registered 44,811 new trucks from January to February, or 1.8% less than in the same period last year.

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

103,720 new vans were registered, or 12.1% less than in the same month a year earlier. All significant markets shrank, from -3.4% in Germany to -4.0% in France, -25.2% in Spain, -26.4% in the UK and -30.1% in Italy. Two months into the year, new van registrations decreased by 9.2% in the EU, totaling 217,891 units. Germany was the only market to slightly expand (+0.8%) whereas France (-3.4%), the UK (-20.3%), Spain (-22.8%) and Italy (-31.5%) all performed less well than in the same period last year.

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