ERJ staff report (DS)
Brussels - New commercial vehicle registrations dropped by 11.8 percent, totaling 184,235 units in the EU in March, according to data from ACEA, the European federation of vehicle makers. With the exception of Germany (+0.3 percent), all other significant markets shrank, from -7.0 percent in the UK to -11.2 percent in France, -22.1 percent in Spain and -45.4 percent in Italy.
Over the first quarter of 2012, demand was down 9.6 percent, compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Downturn prevailed across countries as new registrations fell by 1.0 percent in Germany, 5.8 percent in France, 8.9 percent in the UK, 22.6 percent in Spain and 36.1 percent in Italy. In total, the EU recorded 451,244 new commercial vehicles.
In March, with 151,007 new vans registered, the segment of vans faced the sharpest drop since October 2009 (-13.8 percent). The German market slightly contracted (-1.0 percent), while all other major markets experienced double-digit downturns.
From January to March, results were diverse across markets as demand in Germany was stable (+0.1 percent), whereas France saw its market down by 6.6 percent, the UK by 14.7 percent, Spain by 21.7 percent and Italy by 37.7 percent. A total of 368,763 new vans were registered, or 11.2 percent less than in the same period in 2011.
In March, the EU counted 21,913 new heavy trucks, which is 4.1 percent less than in March last year. The UK (+3.0 percent) and Germany (+6.3 percent) posted growth, unlike France (-2.4 percent), Italy (-14.7 percent) and Spain (-34.5 percent).
Three months into the year, the EU truck market contracted by 3.1 percent with 56,135 new vehicles registered. The German market remained the largest although down 2.9 percent.
March results were also negative for truck registrations which were down 3.4 percent and totaled 29,856 units. Germany and the UK grew by 2.1 percent and 20.1 percent respectively, while France (-3.4 percent), Italy (-25.0 percent) and Spain (-35.2 percent) all contracted.
In the first quarter, the 74,702 new trucks recorded in the EU represented a 2.4 percent decrease compared to the first three months of 2011.
In March, buses and coaches were the only segment to post growth (+17.9 percent), sustained by the strong demand in the UK (+86.7 percent) and Germany (+22.6 percent). From January to March, the UK (+70.1 percent) and Germany (+18.8 percent) remained the largest markets, followed by France (-11.5 percent). In total, 7,779 new vehicles were registered in the EU, or 6.2 percent more than in the same period last year.
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Press release from ACEA