EU Commercial Vehicle Registrations up 5.1% for First Quarter 2019

ACEA reports registrations rose 4.1% in March, with gains in all segments except buses and coaches.

European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)

In March 2019, commercial vehicle registrations increased for the third consecutive month (+4.1%). With the exception of buses and coaches, all segments contributed to last month’s growth.  

Total new commercial vehicles

Three of the five largest EU markets posted positive results: the United Kingdom (+10.3%), Germany (+8.7%) and Spain (+4.9%). By contrast, registrations fell by 3.4% in Italy last month, while French volumes remained more or less similar to last year (-0.3%).

In the first quarter of 2019, the EU market for commercial vehicles expanded by 5.1%. Germany posted double-digit gains (+12.8%), followed by the UK (+8.9%), France (+4.4%) and Spain (+3.1%). Italy, however, saw a slight decline in demand (-0.5%). In total, 654,657 new commercial vehicles were registered across the region from January to March 2019.


New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5t

In March 2019, the van segment recorded the strongest growth, with registrations increasing by 4.6% to 230,787 units. Germany and the UK drove this increase (+11.3% and +10.6% respectively) to a large extent, although the Spanish market also expanded by 7.0%. However, demand contracted in both Italy (-2.1%) and France (-0.7%) last month.

Three months into the year, registrations of light commercial vehicles grew by 5.0%, counting 544,085 units in total. The five largest EU markets all posted gains during the first quarter of the year: Germany (+12.1%), the United Kingdom (+8.9%), France (+4.2%), Spain (+4.0%) and Italy (+1.3%).

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

March 2019 registrations of heavy trucks saw a modest increase (+2.1%). Growth was sustained by the United Kingdom (+10.5%), Germany (+4.8%) and France (+3.8%), while demand fell in Spain (‐11.8%) and Italy (‐7.9%).

From January to March 2019, 82,993 new heavy trucks were registered across in the EU, or 5.5% more than the year before. The UK (+16.9%) and Germany (+16.6%) made an important contribution to this result, as heavy truck registrations declined in both Italy (‐10.9%) and Spain (-2.4%) in the first quarter.

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

During the third month of 2019, demand for new trucks continued to expand (+2.1%), although at a more modest pace than in February. Results were diverse among the five key EU markets, with the UK (+11.7%), France (+4.5%) and Germany (+4.2%) posting growth, but Spain (-13.2%) and Italy (-11.0%) facing strong declines.

So far in 2019, the EU truck market grew by 5.7% to reach 100,708 units in total, with Germany (+16.2%) and the UK (+15.3%) recording the highest increases. By contrast, new truck registrations decreased in Spain and Italy (-2.9% and -11.4% respectively) during the first quarter of the year.

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

In March 2019, EU demand for buses and coaches dropped sharply (-4.9%), with the major EU markets posting strong declines. Double-digit drops were recorded in Germany (-30.0%), the United Kingdom (-19.4%) and France (-17.5%) last month.

Three months into the year, registrations of new buses and coaches increased only slightly (+0.4%). Demand was sustained by the Central European markets (+26.0%), given that all key Western European markets − except for France (+14.3%) − contracted so far this year.