Demand for commercial vehicles in Europe rose for the fifth year running in 2016, up by 11.6% to 2,324,371 million commercial vehicles.
The data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) shows growth was seen across all sectors and all the big five big markets. Italy (+49.9%) showed the most significant increase, followed by Spain (+11.3%), France (+8.3%), Germany (+7.0%) and the UK (+1.2%).
The market was also up in December with a (+10.4%) rise, totalling 211,941 units. Growth was sustained across all commercial vehicle segments and most of the major markets. Registrations in Italy nearly doubled (+97.0%) as a result of government incentives for fleet renewal introduced in September. Spain (+13.3%), Germany (+3.4%) and France (+2.9%) also posted growth, while the UK saw its demand decline during the last month of the year (-9.7%), mainly due to a drop in registrations of vans.
For LCVs up to 3.5 tonnes full-year registrations showed nearly two million new vans were registered in the European Union, up 11.9%. Italy (+50.0%), Spain (+11.2%), Germany (+8.5%), France (+8.2%) and the UK (+1.0%) all contributed to this positive upturn.
The market was also up in December, with registrations of light commercial vehicles totalling 177,303 units, up (+10.3%) compared to December 2015. Demand was mainly driven by the Italian (+90.3%) and Spanish (+14.1%) markets with double-digit increases, while the German (+4.3%) and French (+3.3%) markets only saw modest growth. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, performed less well than in December 2015 (-10.4%).
For trucks over 3.5 tonnes, a total of 365,051 new units were registered in the European Union in 2016, 11.0% more than in the year before. Italy (+54.4%), France (+12.6%) and Spain (+10.1%) made particularly significant contributions to this growth.
Growth was also seen in December truck registrations in the EU, which totalled 30,428 units, up (+12.0%) compared to December 2015. Italy finished the year strongly (+193.0%) with registrations nearly tripling, while France (+4.3%), Germany (+1.3%) and Spain (+0.8%) saw more moderate growth rates at the end of 2016.
The market for new heavy trucks also grew in 2016, with a 12.3% rose, reaching 292,170 units. All major markets made a positive contribution to the overall upturn, especially Italy (+52.9%) and France (+12.9%) with their double-digit increases.
December 2016 results also showed a significant surge in the heavy truck segment (+16.1%), with 24,044 new vehicles registered. The Italian market (+200.2%) saw spectacular growth, driven by government support for transport companies, although Italy’s market is still below pre-crisis levels in volume terms. Germany (+8.8%), Spain (+6.6%) and France (+5.4%) followed with more modest increases, while the British market contracted by 9.1%.