Europe: Commercial vehicle sales down 12% in April image

New commercial vehicle registrations in Europe fell 11.9 percent, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

New registrations fell by 1.2% in France, 1.6% in Germany, 13.3% in the UK, 28.9% in Spain and 38.6% in Italy. Four months into the year, downturn continued its course (-10.1%) as all major markets shrank.

The decline to 19,458 vehicles, reported by Brussels-based industry body ACEA, represented the third straight monthly decline and the second-worst so far this year.

“Anyone can see that the figures for Southern Europe fell through the roof. It’s a no brainer,” said one European truckmaker, declining to be named.

“We anticipate new registrations of European heavy trucks over 16 tons will decline to between 215,000 and 240,000 units in 2012 compared with 243,000 new registrations in 2011,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Michael Andersson.

Scania Chief Executive Leif Ostling said on Tuesday the European truck market was likely to shrink to about 200,000 to 220,000 units this year as the euro zone crisis dampened demand in the highly cyclical heavy-duty truck business.