ACEA: European Commercial vehicle registrations: +3.6% nine months into 2018; -5.2% in September

September 2018 saw a decline in commercial vehicle registrations after five months of consecutive growth, the latest official figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) show. Demand fell by 5.2% last month, mainly due to a drop in registrations of new vans. Except for Germany (+1.1%), all major EU markets recorded lower figures. Italy posted the highest decline (-17.8%), followed by Spain (-9.6%), the United Kingdom (-6.1%) and France (-1.6%).

Over the first three quarters of 2018, growth remained positive despite September's decline. So far in 2018 demand increased by 3.6%, with 1.8 million commercial vehicles registered across the EU. Spain showed the highest growth rate (+8.7%), followed by France (+5.2%) and Germany (+4.0%). Demand in Italy and the UK, on the other hand, contracted by 0.5% and 3.5% respectively.

New light commercial vehicles (LCV) up to 3.5t

In September 2018, EU demand for light commercial vehicles fell by 6.0%, mainly driven by a decline in most Western European countries. Four out of five major EU markets shrank substantially and Italy (-20.5%) and Spain (-9.3%) in particular. Last month, demand for new vans only increased in Germany (+2.7%).

From January to September 2018, demand for vans increased by 3.5% compared to one year ago, reaching 1.5 million units registered. Results were diverse among the five key EU markets. The United Kingdom (-3.0%) and Italy (-2.7%) posted declines, while Spain (+9.5%), Germany (+5.1%) and France (+4.7%) performed very well.

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

September 2018 registrations in the heavy truck segment were similar to last year, with a total of 26,036 units sold in the EU. Among the major markets, demand fell in Spain (-11.7%) and the UK (-6.8%), but heavy truck registrations increased in France (+7.5%) and Italy (+1.0%).

Nine months into the year, demand for new heavy trucks remained positive. 231,894 new vehicles were registered so far this year, or 4.5% more than in 2017. The United Kingdom (-7.9%) was the only key market to show a decline, while Italy (+12.2%), France (+9.7%), Spain (+2.3%) and Germany (+2.2%) all contributed positively to growth.

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

In September 2018, new truck registrations slowed down (-1.1%) after three months of consecutive growth. Demand in almost all major EU markets contracted in September, with the exception of France (+7.3%). Spain saw the highest percentage drop (-13.1%).

Over the first nine months of the year, EU demand for new trucks went up by 4.3% to reach 284,813 registrations. Italy (+10.2%), France (+8.7%), Spain (+3.4%) and Germany (+1.5%) all posted solid figures, although new truck registrations did fall in the United Kingdom (-5.7%).