Commercial vehicle registrations across the EU increased by 9.6% last year, reaching 1.88 million units, a producer group said on Wednesday.

This increase in 2021 stemmed from the low base recorded during the first half of 2020, when measures against the coronavirus pandemic were strong, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

Total sales were below 2019 figures of 2.1 million units, pre-pandemic level.

While Spain posted a negative growth figure of 2.8%, all other major EU markets had positive figures last year, with Italy registering 15.5%, France 7.8%, and Germany 0.6%.

Some 1.6 million light commercial vehicles, which represented the lion’s share of sales, were registered in the EU last year, up 8.5% year-on-year in 2021.

Registrations of new heavy trucks soared by 21.2% in 2021 to reach 240,346 units across the union, while those of new trucks also increased by 16.8% to reach 289,316 units.

“EU demand for buses and coaches increased by a modest 2.8% to 29,941 units sold,” the ACEA added.

In December alone, the union’s commercial vehicle market contracted, marking the sixth consecutive month of decline.

“Demand fell by 8.4% to 155,963 units, mainly due to a drop in new van sales,” it added.

Passenger car sales down

Last week, the ACEA said passenger car registrations across the union posted a decline of 2.4% to stand at 9.7 million units in 2021, “despite the record low base of comparison of 2020.”

“This fall was the result of the semiconductor shortage that negatively impacted car production throughout the year, but especially during the second half of 2021,” it noted.

Car sales were still 3.3 million units below pre-pandemic sales in 2019.

Among major EU markets, only Germany posted a decline (minus 10.1%) in 2021, while Italy saw the highest increase (5.5%), followed by Spain (1%), and France (0.5%).

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