For the first time this year, the number of new registrations of motor vehicles in Germany was ahead of the corresponding volume from the previous year. The estimated 300,000 passenger vehicles sold in May equated to a 6% year-on-year increase, and as a result, the decline in new-car registrations in the year fell to just under 1%. With the end of the war in Iraq and the drop in crude oil prices, the uncertainties affecting private households have subsided somewhat. Around Easter, an average of 7.6% of fleet operators were advocating an expansion of their vehicles in the coming 12 months, and that increased to 8.4% in May.Commercial vehicle production in May was up 5% over the May 2002 figure. Van production climbed 2%, while the production of medium and heavy commercial vehicles was up 10%. Since the beginning of the year, the production of vehicles up to 6 tons increased by 5%.In May, commercial vehicle exports grew 11% to reach a total of 23,200 units.Seasonally adjusted van exports increased sharply compared with the previous month (9%), beating the May 2002 figure by 15%.