European Commercial Vehicle Registrations Down 18% in August

ACEA reports commercial vehicle registrations are down 28.2% for the first 8 months of 2020.

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©Photocreo Bednarek –

Over the first 8 months of 2020, demand for new commercial vehicles declined by 28.2% across the European Union. Double-digit percentage drops were recorded by each of the 27 EU markets so far this year, including the four major ones: Spain (-36.5%), Italy (-26.1%), France (-25.7%) and Germany (-25.1%).

Total new commercial vehicles

In July 2020, commercial vehicle registrations in the European Union saw minimal losses (-0.9%) compared to previous months, with three of the four largest markets in the region posting growth: Italy (+16.2%), Spain (+2.9%) and France (+1.6%).

Nevertheless, the decline increased again in August, when demand dropped by 18.0% to 126,710 units. All vehicle segments recorded a drop in new registrations and, with the exception of Italy (+2.6%), the major markets saw a contraction in demand last month: Spain (-23.0%), Germany (-22.7%) and France (-3.1%).

New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5t

August figures show that the EU market for light commercial vehicles contracted by 18.6% last month, totaling 107,881 units. France, the biggest market for vans, posted a 2.1% decline in August after demand increased in July (+2.0%). Spain (-24.4%) and Germany (-22.2%) recorded double-digit drops in August, while Italy was the only major market posting growth for two consecutive months (+15.1% in July and +4.1% in August).

So far this year, registrations of new vans in the European Union decreased by 26.7%. Among the four major markets, Spain saw the biggest drop in demand (-37.1%), followed by Italy (-26.4%), France (-24.8%) and Germany (-22.4%).

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

While July (+2.8%) represented the first month of growth this year, EU heavy truck registrations returned to decline in August (-11.7%). Looking at the major markets of the EU, Germany posted the strongest drop (-29.0%), followed by France (-6.7%). By contrast, both Italy (+19.4%) and Spain (+2.2%) recorded growth last month.

From January to August 2020, 121,655 heavy trucks were registered across the European Union, down 37.9% compared to the same period last year. Demand for commercial vehicles of 16 tonnes and over fell by 36.7% in Germany, followed by France (-35.3%), Spain (-30.8%) and Italy (-23.8%).

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

In August 2020, the truck segment posted disappointing results (-11.9%) following its positive performance in July (+3.1%). Germany – the leading market for these vehicles – recorded the sharpest decline (-26.0%) of the four biggest markets, while Italy posted strong growth (+20.6%).

During the first 8 months of the year, the European Union counted a total of 152,844 new trucks registered, or 35.8% less than in 2019. The major EU markets faced significant losses: Germany (-33.9%), France (-33.7%), Spain (-29.7%) and Italy (-23.5%).

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

Last month, EU demand for new buses and coaches contracted by 26.7%, a major contrast with the positive results seen in July (+18.1%). August registrations fell by more than half in Italy (-63.4%), followed by Spain (-34.0%), France (-23.9%) and Germany (-5.3%).

Eight months into 2020, bus and coach registrations in the European Union decreased by 29.0%, counting 17,890 new vehicles in total. Spain (-46.6%) and Italy (-29.1%) continue to record strong losses, while the downturn is easing in France (-17.1%) and Germany (-12.0%).