EU Commercial Vehicle Registrations Decline 2.5% in March

ACEA reports commercial vehicle registrations declined in March, but were up 2.6% for the first quarter of 2018.

European Automobile Manufacturers Assn. (ACEA)

In March 2018, new commercial vehicle registrations in the European Union declined by 2.5%, totaling 260,810 units. Demand fell across all commercial vehicle segments and in all major EU markets except for France (+7.7%). 

Total new commercial vehicles

Germany posted the biggest drop last month (-7.6%), followed by the UK (-5.9%), Italy (-3.5%) and Spain (-1.9%).

In the first quarter of 2018, demand for new commercial vehicles in the EU remained positive (+2.6%) despite the slowdown in March. New registrations totaled 622,439 units during this period. Spain (+9.2%) showed the strongest growth, followed by France (+6.2%), Italy (+4.8%) and Germany (+0.4%), but demand for commercial vehicles declined by 4.6% in the United Kingdom.

New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5 tonnes

In March 2018, EU demand for vans was lower than a year ago (-2.2%), 220,835 vehicles were registered in total. New LCV registrations only grew in France (+8.2%). Germany (-6.7%), the UK (-5.6%), Italy (-4.7%) and Spain (-2.1%) all saw their demand for vans decrease in March.

So far in 2018, more than half a million new light commercial vehicles were registered across the European Union; 2.8% more than during the same period one year ago. Spain (+9.3%), France (+6.0%), Italy (+4.1%) and Germany (+2.3%) all posted growth. In the United Kingdom, however, LCV registrations declined by 3.7% during the first quarter of the year.

New heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) of 16 tonnes and over

March 2018 results show that registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles fell by 2.7% last month, with 29,501 units registered in total. Heavy-truck demand slowed in Germany (-10.5%), Italy (-4.8%), the UK (-4.3%) and Spain (-3.2%), although the French market did very well (+9.1%) last month.

Three months into the year the EU market grew by 2.9%, counting 77,952 new heavy trucks. The French and Italian markets showed the strongest gains (up respectively 12.1% and 10.5%). On the other hand, demand for heavy commercial vehicles declined in the United Kingdom (-7.8%) and Germany (-6.4%) so far in 2018.

New medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCV) over 3.5 tonnes

In March 2018, the truck segment performed less well (-3.0%) than in March 2017, in line with the heavy-truck segment. Overall, 36,208 new trucks were registered in the EU last month. Demand declined in Germany (-9.8%), the United Kingdom (-5.0%) and Spain (-0.8%) but did grow in France (+5.6%). 

From January to March 2018, new truck demand saw a modest increase (+2.2%), counting 94,328 new vehicles. France (+9.7%), Italy (+8.0%) and Spain (+5.6%) performed well, but truck registrations fell in the UK and Germany (-10.0% and -4.5% respectively) during the first three months of 2018.

New medium and heavy buses & coaches (MHBC) over 3.5 tonnes

In March EU demand for new buses and coaches contracted strongly (-12.6%) to 3,767 units. Registrations declined significantly in the UK (‐28.0%), Germany (-11.9%) and France (-10.8%), although Italy (+31.7%) and Spain (+8.7%) posted very strong figures.

Over the first three months of 2018, the EU bus and coach market decreased by 2.7%, counting 9,660 new vehicles registered. Demand only increased in Spain (+31.2%) and Italy (+13.4%); registrations contracted in the United Kingdom (-16.8%), France (-14.0%) and Germany (-6.1%).