European commercial vehicle sales were down 7.4% in May over a year ago at 135,587, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The Spanish market remained stable (+0.4%), while the UK (-4.0%), Germany (-9.6%), France (-11.2%) and Italy (-16.2%) registered fewer vehicles than in May 2012.
From January to May, the UK was the only major market to expand (+8.0%). The decline ranged from -9.4% in France to -10.2% in Spain, -10.9% in Germany and -21.3% in Italy. A total of 681,337 new commercial vehicles were registered in the region, or 7.5% less than in the first five months of last year.
New van registrations were down 7.2% in May, amounting to 110,100 units. Spain performed better than in May last year, but the UK (-3.8%), German (-8.2%), French (-11.1%) and Italian (-18.6%) markets all contracted.
Five months into the year the UK expanded by 13.0%, while Spain (-9.0%), France (-9.2%) and Germany (-9.6%) performed similarly and the Italian market faced a double-digit downturn (-22.5%). Overall, the EU recorded 559,906 new vans, or 6.4% less than in January-May 2012.
New heavy commercial vehicles over 16t amounted to 17,392 units in May, or 6.9% less than in the same month last year. The Italian market posted a slight growth (+3.4%), while the UK remained stable (-0.8%) and the Spanish (-7.4%), German (-11.6%) and French (-12.1%) contracted.
From January to May, all major markets recorded negative results ranging from -10.5% in Italy to -11.5% in the UK, -13.3% in France, -13.8% in Germany and -17.6% in Spain. A total of 82,487 new heavy trucks was recorded in the EU representing a 12.5% decrease compared to the same period a year earlier.
Trucks up to 16t decreased by 8.0%, with 23,048 new registrations in the EU. Demand increased by 2.6% in Italy but was down in all other major markets, from -2.8% in the UK to -8.5% in Spain, -12.5% in France and -13.3% in Germany.
Over five months registrations fell by 12.8% in France, 13.0% in the UK, 13.9% in Italy, 14.4% in Germany and 17.5% in Spain. The EU recorded a total of 109,233 new trucks over the period, or 12.7% less than in the first five months of last year.
May results in the bus and coach segment showed a 9.4% downturn as the EU recorded 2,439 new vehicles. The Italian (+0.0%) and German (+0.8%) markets remained stable, while the French (-1.4%), UK (-18.3%) and Spanish (-34.5%) contracted. From January to May, France was the only major country to post growth (+12.4%).
Downturn ranged elsewhere from -2.3% in Germany to -3.9% in Italy, -14.6% in Spain and -18.9% in the UK. Overall, 12,198 new buses and coaches were registered, or 6.9% less than in the same period last year.