In some ways it is good news, in other ways bad that the European commercial vehicle market is performing even worse than our own domestic market. As far as vans are concerned, the 27 countries of the EU were 12.3% behind 2011 registrations, whilst the UK market was just 7.4% behind for the eleven months to the end of November. As an indication of the worsening situation, November’s European registrations were almost 20% behind the 2011 levels, whilst the UK was 16.4% behind.
The truck situation is not much better. Europe is nearly 8% down for commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, but the UK is actually showing a growth figure of 6.7%, – although this figure is flattered somewhat by the inclusion of the heavy vans from 3.5 to 6 tonnes. Looking at heavy trucks over 16 tonnes GVW for the year to November 2012, the UK at 2.1% growth is still ahead of the EU at –8.4%, but these figures are still nothing to shout about. More recent figures for November show that both the UK and EU have taken a trip in the wrong direction, down 10.5 and 17% respectively.