Commercial vehicle sales grow across Europe during January

22 February 2018

22 February 2018

The European market for commercial vehicles started 2018 positively following a decline in the final month of last year.

According to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), demand across the market grew by 7.9% in January, sustained by all commercial vehicle segments and with registrations totalling 187,811 units.

Mirroring the new car market, four of the EU’s five largest markets posted gains during the month, while the UK saw a drop in registrations. Italy saw growth of 15.5% while Spain saw a rise of 15.2%, both comfortably leading the increases. They were followed by Germany, which saw sales rise 9.2%, and France, up 6.2%. The UK saw registrations fall by 5.8%. The country’s vehicle market is struggling, with sales of cars also down in the first month of the year.

In the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market, registrations totalled 153,689 units, making it once again the largest commercial vehicle segment. This was up by 7.8% over January 2017. Again, four of the big five countries posted gains, with Spain growing its market 16.1%, Followed by Italy with a rise of 14.6%, Germany was up 9.2%, and France rose by 5.8%. However, the UK saw its LCV market fall 4.2% compared to the same period last year.

The medium and heavy commercial vehicle (MHCV) capturing vehicles over 3.5 tonnes saw 30,835 vehicles registered, a rise of 8.6% over January 2017.

In the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) market, 25,753 units were registered, up 8.9%. However, while sales in this segment grew in Italy, up 24.9%, and France, with a 15.3% rise, the UK saw a drop of 14.8% as its market continues to struggle.

Finally, in the new medium and heavy buses and coaches (MHBC) market, a 7.1% rise was achieved despite two big markets posting losses. The UK again saw a drop in registrations, down 11.4%, while France also joined in by posting a loss of 15.2%. However, these drops were offset by Spain, up 32.5%, and Italy with growth of 33.1%.

Speaking about the UK’s poor sales figures, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the country’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: ′With business confidence continuing to be affected by economic and political uncertainty, this decline comes as no surprise. Despite this, the UK van market remains at a very high level and, although purchasing patterns are cyclical they do fluctuate with business confidence, so we continue to look to government to improve conditions so the sector can grow.’