A slight drop in commercial vehicle registrations in December couldn’t dampen the positive outlook of 2014 with overall growth of 7.6 per cent in the EU.
December’s total of 166,742 units was down 2.5 per cent year-on-year, including a 9.2pc fall in the UK. Substantial declines posted in new EU member states partially explain the negative outcome, contrasting with 33.8pc growth in Spain.
However, compared with 2013, the EU had a strong year overall as new CV registrations totalled 1,849,077. The UK (+10.8 per cent) was one of four countries to post double-digit growth along with Ireland (+15.5pc), Italy (+13.9pc) and Spain (+31.6pc). France remained stable at -0.4pc and Germany saw a modest expansion at 4.8pc.
In December, the light commercial vehicle sector was boosted, up year-on-year by 14.4 per cent to 141,064 sales. The UK experienced a major increase of 26pc, but Ireland finished the year with December up a rampant 130pc. For the year overall, the sector was up 11.3pc. For year overall, Ireland finish up 51.24pc up on the 2013 total.
There was a significant downturn of 49.3 per cent in new heavy truck registrations in December, including a 77.8pc slump in the UK and and massive 92.3pc down for the month in Ireland. However, that has to be placed in context of the exceptional growth recorded in the same month last year, caused by the anticipated introduction of Euro-6 standards in January 2014. Demand was down by only 6.1% for the year overall with a total of 217,958 units.
A similar pattern affected medium sized commercial vehicles, with contractions of 49pc in December and 8.1pc for the year overall, resulting in 280,391 new registrations. The decline in the UK for 2014 was 27.8pc.
New registrations for buses and coaches were down 15.7pc across the region in December, including a 21pc reduction in the UK. However, the year’s total of 33,561 units represented a small upturn of 1.4pc compared to 2013.