Decline in sales commercial vehicles slows down

In April 2010, nearly 50 thousand new commercial vehicles were sold, a decline by 9 percent relative to one year previously. The decline is less substantial than in the first two months of 2010 and mainly concerned heavy lorries. Since mid-2008, business investments have been cut and this is reflected in commercial vehicle sales.

Plummeting sales lorries and road tractor units

The decline in sales of new commercial vehicles in April 2010 is mainly caused by a 27 percent downturn in sales of new lorries and road tractor units for trailers compared to April 2009. In January and February, sales were still down by approximately 50 percent. In 2009 as a whole, sales of new heavy lorries were 37 percent down.

Sales of new vans were about 3 percent lower in March and April, but appear to recover somewhat. Sales of new vans also dropped dramatically by nearly 40 percent in 2009 relative to 2008.

Commercial vehicle sales

Commercial vehicle sales

Investment spending down in other road transport vehicles

Due to the global recession, companies also cut back on other road transport vehicles like lorries, road tractor units, vans and special vehicles. Over the entire year 2009, investment spending on commercial vehicles was cut by 35 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2009, investments were reduced by no less than 48 percent. In the first quarter of 2010, investment spending on lorries and other commercial vehicles were approximately 36 percent down on the first quarter of 2009.

Investment spending on other road vehicles

Investment spending on other road vehicles

3 percent fewer heavy lorries in 2009

As sales of new commercial vehicles collapsed in 2009, the commercial vehicle fleet was also affected. On 1 January this year, 145 thousand lorries and road tractor units were registered in the Netherlands, a decline by 3.4 percent relative to the beginning of 2009. The number of vans dropped back 0.4 percent to more than 872 thousand. The total number of commercial vehicles (including special vehicles and buses) was reduced by 0.7 percent over 2009.

Astrid Dohmen, Hermine Molnár, Eefje Lammers