LCV sales in EU up 7.5% in August
The sale of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) across the EU was up 7.5% last month, compared to August 2017. Growth was strong in most member states – a 3% decline in Italy being the most notable exception.
According to data released by ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, 132,905 new LCVs were sold in the European Union this August, 7.5% more than the 123,670 units sold in the same month last year.
Three of the Big Five markets exhibited double-digit growth: Spain (+20.2%), France (+12.7%), Germany (+12.7%). The UK grew more moderately (+5.0%), while demand for new LCVs in Italy declined (-3.0%).
Month on month, new LCV sales are down from the 152,424 figure for July – which is slightly (+0.9%) more than the 151,128 units sold in July 2017.
New LCV sales for the year to date (i.e. January-August) were up by a solid 4.8%, with a total of 1,352,326 units registered so far. Looking at the Big Five, there is a dichotomy between three countries with strong growth – Spain (+11.6%), France (+5.7%) and Germany (+5.4%) – and two countries experiencing a mild decline: the UK (-2.2%) and Italy (-0.4%).
LCVs (<3.5 tons) are the largest commercial-vehicle segment. Two of the other three also experienced significant growth in August.
- MHCVs (medium and heavy commercial vehicles, from 3.5 to 16 tons) grew for the third month in a row, by +7.6% to 25,541 units. Growth across the Big Five was strongest in France (+16.1%), declining only in the UK (-7.9%).
- HCVs (heavy commercial vehicles, more than 16 tons) grew by as much as 8.6% to 20,249 units, with double-digit growth in France (+15.6%) and Spain (+10.7%), single-digit growth in Germany (+9.6%) and Italy (+4.7%) and almost-double-digit shrinkage in the UK (-9.4%).
- MHBCs (medium and heavy buses and coaches, over 3.5 tons) experienced a strong recovery in July (+18.1%) but were near-stagnant in August (-0.1%), with 4,086 units sold.
For the overall market, that paints a picture of +7.3% growth in August, the fifth consecutive month of rising sales figures.
During the first eight months of 2018, the EU market expanded by 4.8% to reach 1.6 million new commercial vehicles. Spain saw the strongest growth over this period (+10.8%), followed by France (+6.0%), Germany (+4.4%) and Italy (+1.6%). By contrast, the UK market for commercial vehicles contracted by 3.0% so far this year.