In December 2017, commercial vehicle registrations across the European Union (EU) declined by 3.5 per cent, due in part to one less working day than December last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
Demand contracted across all segments and in the five big EU markets except for Germany (+0.2 per cent). The Italian market posted the strongest decline, with registrations falling by 17.4 per cent in December.
In 2017, demand for new commercial vehicles remained positive throughout the EU, counting 2.4 million units registered or 3.2 per cent more than in 2016. Spain drove this growth with the highest percentage increase (+13.5 per cent), followed by France (+6.9 per cent) and Germany (+3.3 per cent). By contrast, demand in Italy (-2.3 per cent) and the UK (-4.4 per cent) fell in 2017.
In December 2017, EU demand for vans was lower than a year ago (-3.0 per cent) with 172,603 vehicles registered in total. Among the major EU markets results were diverse, with Germany (+2.2 per cent) and the UK (+2.9 per cent) showing growth while demand contracted in Italy (-18.0 per cent), France (-3.9 per cent) and Spain (-1.7 per cent).
Overall in 2017, some two million new light commercial vehicles were registered across the EU, 3.9 per cent more than in 2016. Spain (+15.5 per cent), France (+7.1 per cent) and Germany (+4.9 per cent) saw the strongest growth, but demand for vans declined in the UK (-3.6 per cent) and Italy (-3.4 per cent).
December results show that registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles fell by 6.2 per cent compared to the same month one year ago, with 23,137 units registered. Heavy-truck demand contracted in the UK (-24.9 per cent), Italy (-8.7 per cent) and Spain (-5.5 per cent), although the French market did very well (+7.6 per cent).
In 2017, heavy commercial vehicle demand only saw a modest increase (+0.5 per cent), counting 297,171 new vehicles. The Italian market showed the strongest gains (+8.4 per cent), followed by France (+6.9 per cent) and Germany (+1.4 per cent). On the other hand, demand for heavy commercial vehicles declined in the UK (-7.9 per cent) and Spain (-0.6 per cent).
December 2017 results of the truck segment were significantly lower (-6.7 per cent) than in December 2016; 29,051 new trucks were registered in total during the last month of 2017. Demand declined in the UK (-22.2 per cent), Italy (-13.5 per cent), Spain (-5.8 per cent) and Germany (-5.3 per cent), but it did grow in France (+7.5 per cent).
Overall in 2017, 367,102 new trucks were registered in the European Union – more or less the same number (-0.2 per cent) as in 2016. France (+6.5 per cent) and Italy (+4.5 per cent) performed well in 2017, but truck registrations fell in the UK and Germany (-7.1 per cent and -0.9 per cent respectively).
In December, demand for new buses and coaches was rather stable compared to December 2016 (-0.3 per cent). Registrations fell in most of the major EU markets, especially in the UK (-24.0 per cent) and Spain (-25.6 per cent) – except for France (+48.1 per cent). Noteworthy are the strong results posted by the new EU member states, their registrations went up by 47.8 per cent in December.