No Signs of European Commercial Recovery

Sept. 24, 2009
The economic and financial crisis has a far-reaching effect on the European commercial vehicle industry

The economic and financial crisis has a far-reaching effect on the European commercial vehicle industry. The drop in economic activity and transport has pushed truck production down to half of pre-crisis levels and there are no real signs of recovery in sight.

Demand for commercial vehicles has fallen sharply, mirroring the lower economic activity and reflecting the difficult financial situation of many transport companies. European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) registrations data, published this morning, revealed a 37% drop in new vehicle sales in Europe until August this year compared to January-August last year.

Order intake for heavy trucks stalled at around 25,000 in the first half of 2009, or 85% less than in the same period of 2008. This year’s commercial vehicle production is expected to halve at least. Whereas the bottom of the slope appears to have been reached, there are no signs of a rapid improvement.

Manufacturers expect a flat market until late into 2010.

Over the past year, commercial vehicle manufacturers have already taken numerous measures to adapt to the economic turmoil, by laying off temporary workers, reducing shifts and cutting back working hours among other steps. Soon, further-reaching measures may have to be taken to adjust to lower output levels.

“The commercial vehicle industry is facing the prospect of having to make fundamental changes to its operations,” said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of ACEA.

The ACEA commercial vehicle members are Daimler AG, DAF Trucks, Iveco SpA, MAN AG, Scania AB, Volkswagen AG and AB Volvo. They produce trucks and engines in over ten EU countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and

the Czech Republic. and Poland.