German Commercial Vehicle Production at Record Level

By From VDA| May 15 2007
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Continued strong demand for German vehicles in Germany and abroad

Frankfurt am Main, May 9, 2007. Never before have German commercial vehicle manufacturers produced as many trucks and vans in the first four months of a year as they did in 2007. Buoyed by high domestic and foreign demand, the manufacturers upped production through April by 13 percent to more than 157,000 units. While van production increased by 14 percent, output of heavy-duty trucks over 6 tons rose by 13 percent. More than 15,000 commercial vehicles over 6 tons were built in April, 15 percent more than in the same month of 2006. Van production even increased by 20 percent.

For the fourth year in a row, there was a sharp rise in incoming orders from customers in Germany and abroad. Foreign orders for trucks over 6 tons GVW increased by 32 percent during the year to date, and orders even climbed by 40 percent in April. Incoming foreign orders for trucks up to 6 tons GVW also rose sharply in April, exceeding the result for the same month in 2006 by 20 percent. For the first four months as a whole, foreign orders were up by 26 percent over the already high level reached in the same period last year.

Thanks to the strong demand from eastern Europe and Asia, as well as the growing market shares for German manufacturers, exports of commercial vehicles up to 6 tons exceeded the previous year’s result by 19 percent during the first four months, and by 33 percent in April. Exports of heavy-duty trucks increased by 15 percent during the year to date, and by 31 percent in April.

Domestic orders for commercial vehicles over 6 tons rose by 26 percent in the first four months of the year, including a remarkable 43 percent growth rate in the month of April. Incoming domestic orders for commercial vehicles up to 6 tons exceeded the previous year’s result by 22 percent in April and during the first four months as a whole. Factors that have led to the boost in demand for commercial vehicles in recent months include the introduction of new models, a strong capital goods market, the expansion of freight-forwarding industry fleets, and increasing transport volumes.

Due to the introduction of the digital tachograph, there was a strong increase in advance orders (+140 percent) on the German market in April 2006, particularly for vehicles over 6 tons. As a result, new registrations of commercial vehicles over 6 tons GVW in April were down by 59 percent from the total for the same month of last year. Van sales, on the other hand, increased again slightly (+1 percent). During the first four months as a whole, new registrations of light commercial vehicles were up in Germany by 7 percent. Although sales of trucks over 6 tons were 24 percent lower than in the same period last year, when the figure was skewed by the above-mentioned one-time effects, this decline is expected to be more than offset later this year. The record number of orders for vans and heavy-duty trucks will ensure positive results in the commercial vehicle business in the coming months. As a result, the utilization of manufacturers’ production capacities will remain high as well.

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