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European commercial vehicle sales slump

Brussels: Sales of commercial vehicles in the European Union slumped in December by 23.4%.  December’s sales of 125,825 vehicles is the lowest since October 2009. The UK was the only market in 2012 to record an uplift with a rise in the light truck salesr.

The December sales drop affected all markets: -15.5% in the UK, -20.3% in Italy, -21.3% in France, -24.7% in Germany and -34.2% in Spain.  Commercial vehicle sales in the EU during  2012 fell by  12.4% on 2011. The UK (-5.7%) and Germany (-7.0%) performed somewhat similarly, while the French market shrank by 10.3%, and the Spanish (-25.9%) and Italian (-31.7%) faced a more severe downturn.

Van sales (up to 3.5 tonne) fell in December, to 103,254 new vans, or 24.3% less than in the same month a year earlier. All major markets were down, from -14.2% in the UK to -19.6% in Italy, -21.7% in France, -24.3% in Germany and  -32.7% in Spain. Over the year demand for new vans declined by 13.3% to 1,377,283 units. Results were negative across most countries, including the largest markets: -6.0% in Germany, -7.9% in the UK, -10.6% in France, -26.3% in Spain, -32.0% in Italy.

December’s new heavy truck registrations decreased by 21.7%. All significant markets faced a double-digit downturn, ranging from -16.4% in France to -20.2% in Italy, -21.2% in the UK, -27.1% in Germany and -39.6% in Spain. Over the year results were diverse with the UK performing best with sales down by 0.4%, while France and Germany saw their markets contract by 8.5% and 9.6% respectively. Spain (-20.4%) and Italy (-28.5%) experienced a sharper drop. Overall, the decline was 9.4% in the region, with 214,086 new registrations.

December’s sales of trucks over 3.5 tonnes were also negative (-22.8%), at 19,309 units. All significant markets contracted severely, from -17.1% in France to -22.3% in the UK, -22.8% in Italy, -28.2% in Germany, and -40.5% in Spain. Over the year 2012, demand for light trucks was down 9.1% in the EU with the UK  the only major market to expand (+3.5%), while downturn prevailed in France (-7.5%), Germany (-9.8%), Spain (-21.3%) and Italy (-29.4%). In total, 285,809 new trucks were registered in the year.