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The European LCV market is growing

Frankfurt, 13.06.23

Dataforce LCV new car registrations

Compared to Passenger Cars, the Light Commercial Vehicle market sometimes seems to be less important. In terms of pure sales volume, this segment is of course significantly smaller than the Passenger Car business. New model releases are also comparatively rare, and the electrification of LCVs is still at the beginning. Nevertheless, Dataforce has taken a closer look at this segment of the market as there are interesting findings to be discovered. 


France and UK are the biggest markets by far

Let’s start our analysis with the size of the European market. Within the big twelve countries, there are huge differences in new registrations volumes of LCV up to 7t. With six-figure registrations in the period January to April 2023, France and the UK are clearly the biggest markets by volume. With just over 82,000 units, Germany follows in third place ahead of Italy and Spain.


Overall, the European LCV market is currently growing by 9.7% compared to January to April 2022. However, there is still a lot to catch up with a gap of more than 100,000 units in comparison to the year 2021.

In terms of relative growth rates, Spain, the Czech Republic and Austria currently stand out, followed by another group of five countries with double-digit growth rates. Only France and Poland are currently reporting a decline.

Dataforce LCV growth rates

Almost 75% of new LCVs are registered by fleets. Their sales are currently growing by 12.5%. The registrations of Short-Term Rental companies are very stable, missing only 29 units (- 0.1%) after four months, while self-registrations on dealerships and manufacturers are more than 20% above the January-April 2022 volume, but still far behind the level of 2021.


Several winners on brand level

Several brands are participating in the current positive trend. The four manufacturers with the highest volumes, Ford, Renault, Volkswagen and Mercedes, are each reporting double-digit growth rates. The situation is different, however, for the two brands Peugeot and Citroen in fifth and sixth place, whose registrations are currently declining. This also applies to Opel, another brand of the Stellantis Group, which is in eighth place behind Fiat. The top 10 are completed by Toyota and Iveco.

With Fiat, only one manufacturer outside the top four manages to be the market leader in a country. Unsurprisingly, this is Italy. Ford is number 1 in the UK and Mercedes is ahead in Germany. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is currently number one in four countries (Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland), while Renault has achieved leadership in even five different markets.


Electrification is gradually picking up

It’s not very long ago that customers searching for a full electric vehicle for their transportation needs could hardly find anything. In the meantime, however, the product range has grown. Is this already reflecting in rising registration figures?

Diesel engines are still dominating with a share of 86% (January-April 2022: 89%). While the share of petrol engines remains very stable, alternative powertrains are increasing. The share of full EVs climbed by two percentage points to 6.2%. Again, there are clear differences visible between countries. Sweden and the Netherlands have the highest shares of electric vehicles, while Belgium and the Czech Republic have the lowest.

Dataforce Fuel type shares

The share of LCV with hybrid engines also slightly increased to 0.7%. If you cannot think of a single hybrid commercial vehicle model off the top of your head, that’s not a worrying lack of knowledge. The vehicles with the highest registrations with this fuel type are Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris! In France and Italy in particular, there is an option of converting such passenger car models into commercial vehicles. With this feasible effort, it is possible to register such a car as CV thus significantly saving taxes.

Publication only with indication of source (Dataforce).

The company DATAFORCE - Wir zählen Autos
As a leading market research company, we bring transparency to the European automotive market. Independent - with over 25 years of experience - we set standards and make markets comparable.

Contact: Michael Gergen
Phone: +49 (69) 95930 231