European truck sales slump in January

Brussels, Belgium: Total new commercial vehicles registered in January 2020 fell 11.5% in the European Union, according to the latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

With the exception of buses, demand fell in all segments. The slowdown in van sales – making up more than 80% of EU commercial vehicle demand – had a major impact on the overall performance, the association said.

All four major EU markets posted declines in January, with Spain recording the strongest decline down 19.3%, followed by France down 9.1%, Germany down 7.6%) and Italy down 2.9%.

UK vehicle manufacturing in January fell 10.7%, down 8.8% for the UK market and 12.2% overseas, mainly continental Europe where demand fell steeply.

January is the fifth consecutive month of decline in home demand, with 352 fewer UK-built vehicles than last year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The UK fall in output follows an unusually buoyant January 2019, which saw the number of vans, trucks, buses and coaches leaving production lines increase by almost half.

European registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles over 16-tonnes, a guide to overall economic performance, continued the downward trend that has taken hold since August, following the introduction of the new smart tachograph regulations.

As a result, demand for new heavy trucks dropped by 21.7% in the first month of the year. All four key EU markets registered negative growth in January, with most suffering double‐digit losses, like Germany down 26%, Spain down 15.9% and France down 14.2%.

New light commercial vehiclesup to 3.5t also fell ion January, down 10.2% after an increase in December. The region’s four largest markets contributed to this decline: Spain (‐20.2%), France (‐9.2%), Germany (‐3.0%) and Italy (‐2.4%).

Registrations of new medium and heavy commercial vehicles over 3.5 decreased by 19.2% in January, the seventh consecutive month of falling demand. The EU’s main markets all followed this negative trend, with Germany (‐20.5%), Spain (‐14.9%), France (‐12.4%) and Italy (‐9.3%) posting declines in the first month of 2020.


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