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2019 ended with a slight increase in the number of registered trucks in the EU. This was largely due to the weak results in December. The growth in the delivery van sector was slightly higher. In the last month of 2019 alone, their number increased by almost 9% in France, nearly 8% in the UK and 180.3% in Sweden!

The end of the year was not optimistic for the industry. In the last month, 9.4% fewer trucks over 3.5 t were registered in the European Union as a whole than during the same period of 2018. Even the main markets have given in to a negative trend – in Germany, the decrease in the number of new vehicles registered has exceeded 12%. In Italy, it was 11.7%, while in France – 10.5%.

The weak second half of the year affected the results for the whole of 2019. In total, 0.9% more vehicles were registered than in 2018. The key markets did quite well:

  • The United Kingdom +9.5%
  • Germany +4.2%
  • France +1.5%
  • Spain +1.1%

The only key market with declining demand was Italy (with a result of -7.6%), observes the European Truck Manufacturers’ Organisation ACEA, which collected the above data.

Fewer large vehicles

The situation was not much better in the segment of heavy trucks over 16 t. In this segment, the number of registrations in the EU increased only by 0.1% in the whole of 2019. While almost all key markets experienced growth, with the exception of the UK (+9.2%), these growths were small:

  • Spain +2.8%
  • France +2.1%
  • Germany +1.9%

Italy did not do well in this category either. There, the number of new vehicle registrations dropped by 7.7% y/y.

Again, this was greatly influenced by the weak December. Last month the growth in the number of new vehicles across the Community was 13.6% less than a year ago, “making it the sixth consecutive month of falling demand in 2019,” comments ACEA.

The main reason for this decline is the introduction of mandatory new (digital – note: Polish Automotive Industry Association) tachographs in heavy trucks from 15 June 2019,” adds ACEA.

This resulted in very large double-digit falls in most of the main markets. In Germany, the decline exceeded 20%. In the UK – 15%, while in France it reached almost 12%.

Swedish surprise

The situation is slightly better in the delivery truck segment. In the whole of 2019, almost 3% more vehicles were registered in the EU than in 2018, which means that 2.1 million new vehicles appeared on the roads.

All five key markets experienced growth, with Germany (+6.9%) and France (+4.5%) making a particularly strong contribution,” ACEA comments.

December ended with an increase in registrations of over 8% y/y. Of the key markets, France (+8.7%) and the UK (+7.8%) did best, while Germany (+1.6%) did the worst. The following countries reported declines: Spain (-8.2%) and again, Italy (-3.1%).

The exceptional performance in the Swedish van market (+180.3%) can be explained by the increase in the annual road tax for 2020,” adds the organisation.

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