In April 2001, commercial vehicle production in Germany rose 1% to 29,400 units, according to the VDA (Association of the German Automotive Industry). While production of commercial vehicles up to six tons was expanded, fewer commercial vehicles above six tons (as well as buses) were actually made. Once the number of working days is taken into consideration — 19 working days in April 2001 against 18 in April 2000 — commercial vehicle production was down 4%. The seasonally adjusted production volume was 11% lower compared with March 2001. In the first four months of this year, German manufacturers produced 8% more commercial vehicles than a year ago.
In the month under review, commercial vehicle exports grew 7% to 20,900 units. Taking the number of working days into account, the previous year's result was surpassed by 1%. Up to and including April 2001, German manufacturers delivered an extra 12% commercial vehicles abroad compared with a year ago. Significant growth was achieved in all weight categories.
In April 2001, new registrations of commercial vehicles were down 5% from the previous year. While March 2001's performance was bettered by 5% in the up-to-six-ton segment, registrations in the sector above six tons were down 3% from March 2001. In the bus sector, a 19% drop was noted. Since the start of this year, 4% fewer commercial vehicles were first registered compared with 2000.
Demand for commercial vehicles also continued to decrease. In the month under review, orders for commercial vehicles up to six tons dropped by 12%, while those for trucks above six tons fell by 10%. Orders for buses were down 22%. In the first four months of 2001, domestic orders for commercial vehicles were 12% lower than a year ago. Orders taken from abroad, by contrast, were still 6% ahead of the previous year's volume.