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Fewer semi-trailer trucks, more vans – how the European commercial vehicle market started into 2024

Frankfurt, 18.04.24

Dataforce Infographic Development of commercial vehicle registrations Jan-Feb 2024 by registration type, image: DALL-E
  • Dataforce has analysed the market development of light and heavy commercial vehicles in Europe. The period January-February 2024 was analysed.
  • In addition to the top 5 manufacturers, Toyota in particular grew in the light commercial vehicle segment. Overall, the market is growing significantly.
  • Scania moved up to third place in the heavy commercial vehicle segment, passing Volvo Trucks and DAF. Overall, the market declined slightly as fewer new semi-trailer trucks were registered.
  • The electrification of the commercial vehicle market continues to be sluggish. The only exception is buses, where 15% of new registrations are now fully electric.


In the first two months of the year, European commercial vehicle registrations grew by 12%. However, the market owes this positive result primarily to the development of light commercial vehicles up to 7 tonnes, which increased by 15%. In contrast, registrations of heavy commercial vehicles over 7 tonnes fell slightly by a half percentage point. The high interest rates and energy costs as well as the shortage of drivers are slowing down the market recovery.


Manufacturers and fuel types for light commercial vehicles

In the light commercial vehicle segment, almost all brands recorded growth in January and February. Market leader Renault achieved almost 40,000 registrations with a growth of 12%. Ford was only just behind with growth of 13% and a good 37,000 new registrations. VW Commercial Vehicles increased by 17% and thus continues to hold 3rd place among European manufacturers. The top 5 brands were completed by Mercedes (+8 per cent) and Peugeot (+20 per cent).

Toyota achieved the largest growth among the top manufacturers. With an increase of 45%, the brand took the eighth place ahead of Opel and Iveco. The Hilux pickup remains by far Toyota’s most important model, with 6,700 new registrations in the first two months, well ahead of the Proace City (4,246 Nzl) and the Proace (2,591 Nzl).

Customers have been slow to respond to the now very wide range of electrically powered light commercial vehicles. Although new registrations of battery-electric vehicles increased by 20%, this only represents a marginal increase in market share from 6.0% to 6.2%. Just under 85% of newly registered vehicles came with a diesel powertrain.

Dataforce Infographic Top 10 brands and fuel type mix for light commercial vehicles, Jan-Feb 2024

Semi-trailers in decline

Let us now look at heavy commercial vehicles. The decline in the market is primarily attributable to a double-digit drop in semi-trailer trucks(- 10 %). By contrast, vehicles with fixed bodywork and special vehicles such as tippers, flatbed trucks and car transporters have increased.

The most significant growth, with +29%, was in buses. Public transport operators made significant investments here, including in alternative drive technology. Battery-electric buses accounted for just under 15% of new registrations, 7% of new buses were powered by natural gas and 2% by diesel hybrid drives. Hydrogen did not show up in the last two months.

Dataforce Infographic Development of new registrations for heavy commercial vehicles, image DALL-E

There was a lot of movement among commercial vehicle manufacturers in the first two months of the year.  Mercedes Trucks (+2%) and MAN (+0%) in the top two places were able to equalise their previous year’s volumes. Scania moved up to third place with growth of 17%, passing Volvo Trucks (-14%) and DAF (-21%), both of which suffered significant declines.

About the analysis

The analysis is based on commercial vehicle registrations in the European Union, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. At the time of publication, 2024 data was not yet available for Finland, Croatia and Slovenia. All vehicles in classes M2, M3, N1, N2, N3 (buses, articulated lorries, goods transporters, special transporters) were included. Further information is available at

Publication only with indication of source (Dataforce).

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