European commercial vehicle registrations were down 12.4% in 2012 and 23.4% in December, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).
Demand reached its lowest level since October 2009, at with downturns in major markets ranging from -15.5% in the UK to -20.3% in Italy, -21.3% in France, -24.7% in Germany and -34.2% in Spain.
From January to December, a total of 125,825 new commercial vehicles were registered in the EU. The UK (-5.7%) and Germany (-7.0%) performed somewhat similarly, while the French market shrank by 10.3%, and the Spanish (-25.9%) and Italian (-31.7%) faced a more severe downturn.
New Heavy Commercial Vehicles over 16t (excluding Buses & Coaches) – "heavy trucks"
In December, new heavy truck registrations decreased by 21.7%. All significant markets faced a double-digit downturn, ranging from -16.4% in France to -20.2% in Italy, -21.2% in the UK, -27.1% in Germany and -39.6% in Spain. In total, the EU recorded 14,267 new trucks in the month. From January to December, results were diverse as the UK slipped by 0.4%, while France and Germany saw their markets contract by 8.5% and 9.6% respectively. Spain (-20.4%) and Italy (-28.5%) experienced a sharper drop. Overall, the decline was 9.4% in the region, with 214,086 new registrations.
New Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t (excluding Buses & Coaches) – "trucks"
December results were also negative in the segment of new trucks (-22.8%), which totaled 19,309 units. All significant markets contracted severely, from -17.1% in France to -22.3% in the UK, -22.8% in Italy, -28.2% in Germany, and -40.5% in Spain. Over the year 2012, demand for trucks was down 9.1% in the EU. The UK was the only major market to expand (+3.5%), while downturn prevailed in France (-7.5%), Germany (-9.8%), Spain (-21.3%) and Italy (-29.4%). In total, 285,809 new trucks were registered in the year.
New Light Commercial Vehicles up to 3.5t – "vans"
In December, the EU registered 103,254 new vans, or 24.3% less than in the same month a year earlier. All major markets were down, from -14.2% in the UK to -19.6% in Italy, -21.7% in France, -24.3% in Germany and -32.7% in Spain. Over twelve months, demand for new vans declined by 13.3% in the region, totaling 1,377,283 units. Results were negative across most countries, including the largest markets: -6.0% in Germany, -7.9% in the UK, -10.6% in France, -26.3% in Spain, -32.0% in Italy.