25 Apr 2020


In March 2020, EU demand for new buses and coaches over 3.5t plunged by 37.1% to 1,905 units. ACEA, European Automobile Manufacturers Association, reported this dramatic figure about the bus and coach market in Europe with an economy which has come to a stand still. Of course not only the bus and coach market has been effected. Demand for new commercial vehicles fell in total by 47.3%.

In Spain the market dropped by 68.8% as one of many EU countries that recorded significant losses in March. Only Germany (+11.8%), Austria (+12.3%), Estonia (+800.0%) and Cyprus (+33.3%) showed growth last month. From January to March, bus and coach registrations contracted by 10.3%, with 7,637 new vehicles registered in total across the European Union. Despite the March drop, overall demand remained positive in three of the four major EU markets so far this year: Germany (+12.4%), Italy (+9.5%) and France (+6.8%). By contrast, Spanish registrations were down 37.2% during the first quarter.

Total new commercial vehicles registrations fell in March by 47.3%. The strongest drops were posted by Italy (‐66.1%), Spain (‐64.4%) and France (‐63.1%). In the first quarter of 2020, the EU commercial vehicle market contracted by 23.2% to 413,327 units as a direct consequence of March’s substantial slowdown. The four major markets, Spain (‐31.7%), France (‐26.9%), Italy (‐26.6%) and Germany (‐14.4%), all faced double‐digit losses so far this year.

According to ACEA March registrations of light commercial vehicles took the biggest hit of all segments. Demand fell by half (‐49.8%) compared to the year before, with registrations dropping from 165,455 vans in March 2019 to 83,141 units this year. With the exception of Hungary, which posted a more modest decline than other countries, all EU markets saw double‐digit percentage drops last month, including the major ones. In Italy registrations tumbled by 71.2% and Spain saw a 67.2% drop. 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 (‐33.5%), followed by Italy (‐29.4%), France (‐27.3%) and Germany (‐11.8%).

During the third month of 2020, EU demand for new heavy trucks also declined significantly (‐38.0%), marking the ninth consecutive month of decline. In France demand was slashed by more than half (‐50.2%). During the first quarter of the year, heavy truck sales fell in all major EU markets, with France (‐27.7%) and Germany (‐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.

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