New commercial vehicle registrations in the EU dropped by 11.8% in March and 9.6% in the first quarter, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
With the exception of Germany (+0.3%), all other significant markets shrank in March, from -7.0% in the UK to -11.2% in France, -22.1% in Spain and -45.4% in Italy. In the first quarter, the downturn prevailed across countries as new registrations fell by 1.0% in Germany, 5.8% in France, 8.9% in the UK, 22.6% in Spain and 36.1% in Italy. In total, the EU recorded 451,244 new commercial vehicles.
New Heavy Commercial Vehicles over 16t (excluding Buses & Coaches) – "heavy trucks"
In March, the EU counted 21,913 new heavy trucks, which is 4.1% less than in March last year. The UK (+3.0%) and Germany (+6.3%) posted growth, unlike France (-2.4%), Italy (-14.7%) and Spain (-34.5%). Three months into the year, the EU truck market contracted by 3.1% with 56,135 new vehicles registered. The German market remained the largest although down 2.9%, followed by the French which was stable at +0.5%. The UK ranked third in absolute figures but was the only major market to grow substantially (+15.8%). Italy (-18.0%) and Spain (-21.7%) saw their markets considerably shrink. New Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t (excluding Buses & Coaches) – "trucks"
March results were also negative for truck registrations, which were down 3.4% and totaled 29,856 units. Germany and the UK grew by 2.1% and 20.1% respectively, while France (-3.4%), Italy (-25.0%) and Spain (-35.2%) all contracted. In the first quarter, the 74,702 new trucks recorded in the EU represented a 2.4% decrease compared to the first three months of 2011. Despite the expansion of the second and third largest markets, France (+2.1%) and the UK (+28.7%), the downturn affecting Germany (-4.4%), Italy (-22.7%) and Spain (-23.6%) led to an overall decrease of new registrations in the region.
New Light Commercial Vehicles up to 3.5t – "vans"
In March, with 151,007 new vans registered, the segment of vans faced the sharpest drop since October 2009 (-13.8%). The German market slightly contracted (-1.0%), while all other major markets experienced double-digit downturns, which ranged from -11.1% in the UK to -12.0% in France, -20.0% in Spain and -47.7% in Italy. From January to March, results were diverse across markets as demand in Germany was stable (+0.1%), whereas France saw its market down by 6.6%, the UK by 14.7%, Spain by 21.7% and Italy by 37.7%. A total of 368,763 new vans were registered, or 11.2% less than in the same period in 2011.
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