New commercial vehicle registrations in the EU reached 2.4 million units in 2017—a 3.2% increase, despite a 3.5% decline in December, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).
Spain drove the yearly growth with the highest percentage increase (+13.5%), followed by France (+6.9%) and Germany (+3.3%). By contrast, demand in Italy (-2.3%) and the United Kingdom (-4.4%) fell in 2017.
For December, demand contracted across all segments and in the five big EU markets except for Germany (+0.2%). The Italian market posted the strongest decline, with registrations falling by 17.4% in December.
New heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) of 16 tonnes and over
December results show that registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles fell by 6.2% compared to the same month one year ago, with 23,137 units registered. Heavy-truck demand contracted in the UK (-24.9%), Italy (-8.7%) and Spain (-5.5%), although the French market did very well (+7.6%).
In 2017, HCV demand only saw a modest increase (+0.5%), counting 297,171 new vehicles. The Italian market showed the strongest gains (+8.4%), followed by France (+6.9%) and Germany (+1.4%). On the other hand, demand for heavy commercial vehicles declined in the United Kingdom (-7.9%) and Spain (-0.6%).
New medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCV) over 3.5 tonnes
December 2017 results of the truck segment were significantly lower (-6.7%) than in December 2016; 29,051 new trucks were registered in total during the last month of 2017. Demand declined in the United Kingdom (-22.2%), Italy (-13.5%), Spain (-5.8%) and Germany (-5.3%), but it did grow in France (+7.5%).
Overall in 2017, 367,102 new trucks were registered in the European Union – more or less the same number (-0.2%) as in 2016. France (+6.5%) and Italy (+4.5%) performed well in 2017, but truck registrations fell in the UK and Germany (-7.1% and -0.9% respectively).
New medium and heavy buses & coaches (MHBC) over 3.5 tonnes
In December, demand for new buses and coaches was rather stable compared to December 2016 (-0.3%). Registrations fell in most of the major EU markets, especially in the United Kingdom (-24.0%) and Spain (-25.6%) – except for France (+48.1%). Noteworthy are the strong results posted by the new EU member states, their registrations went up by 47.8% in December.
In 2017, the EU bus and coach market contracted slightly (-0.5%), totalling 40,515 units. The UK and France saw demand fall by -18.8% and -4.0% respectively, but registrations of new buses and coaches increased substantially in Italy (+20.3%) and Spain (+6.9%).
New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5 tonnes
In December 2017, EU demand for vans was lower than a year ago (-3.0%) with 172,603 vehicles registered in total. Among the major EU markets results were diverse, with Germany (+2.2%) and the UK (+2.9%) showing growth while demand contracted in Italy (-18.0%), France (-3.9%) and Spain (-1.7%).
Overall in 2017, some 2 million new light commercial vehicles were registered across the European Union, 3.9% more than in 2016. Spain (+15.5%), France (+7.1%) and Germany (+4.9%) saw the strongest growth, but demand for vans declined in the United Kingdom (-3.6%) and Italy (-3.4%).