European Commercial Vehicle Registrations Down 35% This Year

New commercial vehicle registrations in Europe were down 27.7% in September compared to the same month in 2008, declining for the seventeenth consecutive month, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA). Three quarters into the year, Europe totaled 1,270,241 new vehicle registrations, or 35.6% less than in the first nine months of last year.

In September, new registrations of vans were down 21.5% in Western Europe and 57.7% in the new EU

Member States, resulting in an overall decline of 25.4%. Among the major markets, Italy performed best

(-13.0%), followed by France (-18.8%), Spain (-20.8%), the UK (-22.4%) and Germany (-22.6%). In the new EU Member States, the Czech market, which was the largest last year, was hit the hardest and shrank by 80.8%. Poland managed best to cushion the drop (-33.7%) and registered the most vehicles in the region.

From January to September, new registrations declined by 34.4%. The downturn hit the new EU Member States (-50.9%) more severely than Western Europe (-32.4%). France (-23.1%), Germany (-26.3%) and Italy (-26.4%) fared better than the UK (-40.8%) and Spain (-44.5%), while the Polish market contracted by 27.4% and the Czech by 65.6%.

The September results in the segment of heavy trucks showed a 42.2% decline in Europe, with unequal

performances in Western Europe (-38.7%) and the new EU Member States (-66.3%). The UK was the largest market and the only one to post growth (+26.8%). Germany (-55.4%), Italy (-55.1%) and France (-49.1%) were severely affected by the crisis, while Spain (-36.3%) and the Netherlands (-36.6%) were also down. Poland remained the most important market in the new EU Member States despite a 45.6% downturn.

Three quarters into the year, new heavy truck registrations were down 47.3% in Europe. Western Europe recorded a 43% fall compared to the same period last year. The Netherlands (-30%), the UK (-37.7%), France (-38.5%), Germany (-41.8%), Italy (-49.6%) and Spain (-72.2%) all recorded a decrease. In the new EU Member States, Poland (-67.2%) and the Czech Republic (-61.4%) saw their markets contract the least compared to the other countries in the region.

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