Sales of commercial vehicles also down in November
According to figures of the European car manufacturers association ACEA, new commercial vehicle registrations across the EU retreated (-14,7%) for the fifth consecutive month in November.
The van segment’s double-digit drop weighed heavily on the overall result, as vans accounted for over 80% of total commercial vehicle sales in the European Union. The region’s four major markets posted substantial declines last month, with the sharpest drop seen in Spain (-30,4%).
During the first 11 months of 2021, nevertheless, European Union commercial vehicle registrations remained up by 11,5%, still benefiting from 2020’s low base for comparison due to the pandemic.
The largest markets still performed well so far this year, especially Italy (+17,6%) and France (+9,4%), although the percentage increases in Germany (+1,3%) and Spain (+0,6%) fell significantly compared to earlier months.
Last month, the market for new vans in the European Union saw another double-digit decline (-16,6%) as the ongoing shortage of semiconductors continued to hamper vehicle output. The region’s performance was not helped by the weak results of the major EU markets: Spain (-33,0%), Germany (-24,7%), Italy (-16,2%), and France (-12,1%).
From January to November, EU light commercial vehicle registrations were still up by 10,8% at 1,4 million units, despite the weak performance of recent months.
Looking at the largest markets for new vans, Italy (+17,1%) and France (+9,7%) managed to remain in positive territory, while cumulative volumes in Germany (+0,4%) and Spain (-0,4%) were more or less stable compared to 2020.
HCVs and buses
In November, heavy truck (over 16 tons) sales in the European Union declined less steeply (-3,5%) than vans. The Central European countries continued to provide positive support (+13,4%) to the region’s performance, but this was not enough to offset the double-digit drops posted by the four major markets in Western Europe. So far, in 2021, 219 595 new heavy trucks were registered across the European Union, up 21,0% compared to the same period one year ago.
Last month, EU demand for medium-heavy trucks (up to 16 tons) contracted by 6,0%, counting 23,678 units sold. A similar evolution to the heavy-truck segment. Eleven months into 2021, new truck sales in the European Union increased by 16,6% year-to-date, with 264 031 units registered in total.
Last but not least, the buses. In November 2021, buses were the only segment showing a slight increase (+1,6%) in new registrations. Except for France (-6,5%), all key EU markets made a positive contribution to last month’s growth: Italy (+14,4%), Spain (+7,8%), and Germany (+5,1%). From January to November, new bus and coach registrations across the EU grew by +2,3% to reach 26 101 units.
All-in-all, we see that the commercial vehicles market is not suffering as much from the chip shortage as the passenger car market. Still, nevertheless, sales are gloomy, especially when one considers that comparisons are made with the year 2020, the year of the pandemic.