EU demand for new commercial vehicles increased 10.4% in December, totaling 211,941 units, and 11.6% in 2016, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).
Growth was sustained across all commercial vehicle segments. Italy ended the year extremely strong (+97.0%), with registrations almost doubling as a result of government incentives for fleet renewal that were introduced in September. Spain (+13.3%), Germany (+3.4%) and France (+2.9%) also posted growth, while the UK saw its demand decline during the last month of the year (-9.7%), mainly due to a drop in registrations of vans.
In 2016, the EU market showed consistent growth (+11.6%) and rose for the fourth year in a row, reaching 2,324,371 million commercial vehicles registered. Throughout the year, the five big markets performed better than in 2015. Italy (+49.9%) showed the most significant increase, followed by Spain (+11.3%), France (+8.3%), Germany (+7.0%) and the UK (+1.2%).
New heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) over 16 tonnes
December 2016 results show a significant surge in the heavy truck segment (+16.1%), with 24,044 new vehicles registered. The Italian market (+200.2%) saw spectacular growth, driven by government support for transport companies, although Italy’s market is still below pre-crisis levels in volume terms. Germany (+8.8%), Spain (+6.6%) and France (+5.4%) followed with more modest increases, while the British market contracted by 9.1%.
In 2016, the market for new heavy trucks grew by 12.3%, reaching 292,170 units. All major markets made a positive contribution to the overall upturn, especially Italy (+52.9%) and France (+12.9%) with their double-digit increases.
New medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCV) over 3.5 tonnes
In December 2016, new truck registrations in the EU totalled 30,428 units, up (+12.0%) compared to December 2015. Italy finished the year strongly (+193.0%) with registrations nearly tripling, while France (+4.3%), Germany (+1.3%) and Spain (+0.8%) saw more moderate growth rates at the end of 2016.
In 2016, 365,051 new trucks were registered in the European Union, 11.0% more than in the year before. Italy (+54.4%), France (+12.6%) and Spain (+10.1%) made particularly significant contributions to this growth.
New medium and heavy buses & coaches (MHBC) over 3.5 tonnes
In December 2016, new registrations of buses and coaches increased again (+5.5%) following a slowdown in the third quarter of the year, now totalling 4,210 units. Growth was mainly driven by Spain (+68.5%) and Italy (+57.4%), while France (-25.1%) and Germany (-1.7%) performed less well than in December 2015.
Overall in 2016, the EU market for buses and coaches only registered a moderate increase (+2.3%), counting 40,370 new vehicles. During the year, most growth came from Spain (+26.1%), Italy (+16.1%) and Germany (+8.9%), while France (-10.2%) saw demand decline. Noteworthy is the positive performance of the Dutch market (+144.2%).
New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5 tonnes
In December 2016, new registrations of light commercial vehicles totalled 177,303 units, up (+10.3%) compared to December 2015. Demand was mainly driven by the Italian (+90.3%) and Spanish (+14.1%) markets with double-digit increases, while the German (+4.3%) and French (+3.3%) markets only saw modest growth. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, performed less well than in December 2015 (-10.4%).
Overall in 2016, nearly two million new vans were registered in the European Union, 11.9% more than the year before. Italy (+50.0%), Spain (+11.2%), Germany (+8.5%), France (+8.2%) and the UK (+1.0%) all contributed to this positive upturn.