New commercial vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) amounted to 166,739 units in December 2011, a 7.5% increase over the same month in 2010, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

Registrations grew in France (+2.5%), the United Kingdom (+13.4%), and Germany (+16.3%), while results were negative in Italy (-0.8%) and Spain (-14.2%). Over the year, a total of 1,935,392 new vehicles were registered. This is 9.9% more than in 2010, but still about one-fifth below pre-crisis levels when annual volumes averaged 2.5 million units.

In 2011, France remained the largest market, with 482,823 new vehicles and an expansion of 5.6%. Germany registered 334,822 units, a growth of 18.7%, followed by the UK (+17.6%) with 306,488 new vehicles. The Italian (-3.4%) and the Spanish markets (-6.6%) contracted.

New heavy commercial vehicles over 16 tonnes (excluding buses and coaches) — heavy trucks:

In December, heavy trucks recorded the highest increase across segments (+20.8%), with 19,482 new units in the EU. Spain (-4.1%) was the only major market to shrink. Elsewhere, results were positive, ranging from +0.6% in Germany to +11.0% in France and +39.0% in the UK. Over 12 months, all significant markets experienced growth. Spain saw demand for heavy trucks increase by 20.6%, while growth was 23.3% in Germany, 41.5% in France, and 42.5% in the UK. Overall, the EU recorded 236,512 new heavy trucks in 2011, which is 36.0% more than in the previous year.

New commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (excluding buses and coaches) — trucks

December results in the truck segment showed a 20.5% upturn in the EU, which recorded 26,846 units. Looking at the most significant markets, Spain (-3.5%) was the only one to contract, while Germany remained stable (+0.9%) and France (+13.2%) and the UK (+46.3%) posted double-digit growths. From January to December, growth prevailed across major markets, leading to an overall 29.0% upturn. Demand for new trucks rose by 19.8% in Germany, 19.9% in Spain, 31.3% in the UK, and 37.7% in France. A total of 315,447 vehicles was recorded in the EU.

New light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes — vans

In December, registrations of new vans grew by 5.4%. While growth prevailed in France (+1.6%), the UK (+7.8%), and Germany (+22.6%), Italy (-14.4%) and Spain (-15.7%) faced a double-digit downturn. In total, 136,404 new vans were recorded in the month. From January to December, the EU recorded 1,586,255 new vans, or 7.0% more than in 2010. Results were different across markets as France (+2.7%), the UK (+16.7%), and Germany (+18.8%) performed better, while Italy (-6.1%) and Spain (-10.1%) declined.