The four major markets in the EU, Spain (down 31.7%), France (down 26.9%), Italy (down 26.6%) and Germany (down 14.4%), all faced double-digit losses so far this year. - Photo: European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The four major markets in the EU, Spain (down 31.7%), France (down 26.9%), Italy (down 26.6%) and Germany (down 14.4%), all faced double-digit losses so far this year.

Photo: European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

In the first quarter of 2020, the European Union commercial vehicle market contracted by 23.2% to 413,327 units as a direct consequence of slowdowns seen in March, as measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus lead to the closure of dealerships. 

The four major markets in the EU, Spain (down 31.7%), France (down 26.9%), Italy (down 26.6%) and Germany (down 14.4%), all faced double-digit losses so far this year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). 

From January to March, demand for new vans in the European Union shrank by 23.1%. Each of the four main EU markets performed worse than in 2019. Spain recorded the biggest drop (down 33.5%), followed by Italy (down 29.4%), France (down 27.3%) and Germany (down 11.8%).

Meanwhile, during the first quarter of the year, heavy truck sales fell in all major EU markets, with France (down 27.7%) and Germany (down 25.9%) posting the strongest drops. This brought total registrations down to 54,168 heavy trucks so far in 2020, or 26.9% less than last year.

Three months into 2020, 66,376 new trucks over 3.5 tons were registered across the European Union, down 24.8% compared to the first quarter of 2019. Similar to their performance in the heavy‐truck segment, Germany (down 26.4%) and France (down 23.1%) reported the biggest losses, followed by Spain (down 15.1%) and Italy (down 12.3%) with slightly less extreme declines.

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