UK commercial registrations defy European decline
The UK was the only major European market to buck January’s downward trend in new commercial vehicle registrations. According to the ACEA, total commercial vehicle registrations in the UK rose 5.4 per cent to 19,198; total European Union registrations declined 10.6 per cent to 126,110 during the month. The decline in France almost hit double figures, with new registrations decreasing by 9.8 per cent year-on-year to 33,584 units. Other major markets suffered an even stronger downturn; new commercial vehicle registrations in Germany and Spain sank 15.5 per cent year on year to 19,913 and 5,912 respectively, while Italian registrations, at 9,452, were 23.6 per cent lower than in January 2012.
In the light commercial vehicle segment – vans up to 3.5 tonnes – the UK enjoyed an 11.9 per cent growth in new registrations, with 16,049 new registrations during January. Again, our market proved the exception to the rule amongst the major markets. European Union light commercial vehicle registrations were down 9.7 per cent to 103,129 units in January, with France’s market declining 9.3 per cent to 29,505 new registrations, Germany’s 13.9 per cent to 14,260 units, Spain 18.9 per cent to 4,623 and Italy 25.7 per cent to 8,100 new registrations.
The good news for the UK runs out when we reach the figures relating to medium and heavy commercial vehicles Demand for heavy commercial vehicles over 16 tonnes fell across the European Union in January, with a year-on-year decline of 18.4 per cent to 15,510 new registrations recorded. United Kingdom new registrations totalled 1,854 for the month, a drop of 22.0 per cent. Italian new registrations fell 9.3 per cent to 940, Spain experienced an 11.1 per cent decline to 1,031 units, French new registrations decreased 15.4 per cent to 2,934, while Germany experienced the same drop as the UK, 22.0 per cent, to 3,325 new registrations.
The medium commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (excluding buses and coaches) segment declined 17.2 per cent across the European Union to 20,305 units. The United Kingdom experienced the largest decline of all the major markets, dropping 21.2 per cent year-on-year to 2,705 new registrations. All other major markets also experienced a double-digit decline, ranging from 10.1 per cent in Spain (1,082 new registrations), 14.2 per cent in Italy (1,189), 15.1 per cent in France (3,656) and 19.5 per cent in Germany (5,231 new registrations).
The only segment that saw EU-wide growth was new buses and coaches over 3.5 tonnes. New European Union registrations for January amounted to 2,675 units, representing annual growth of 9.8 per cent year-on-year. The UK managed to swim against this positive tide and report 444 new registrations, 1.3 per cent fewer than in January 2012. This result was, admittedly, better than Germany, where demand dropped 15.3 per cent to 422 units. French new registrations increased 3.7 per cent to 423, Italian registrations increased 22.2 per cent to 253 and Spanish new registrations rose 51.1 per cent year-on-year to 207 units in January.