Fleets are leading the growth of the European light commercial vehicle (LCV) market, accounting for 75% of the nearly 10% market increase January to April over same period in 2022, according to a recent report by research company Dataforce.
Fleet sales are growing by 12.5%, the report revealed. Short-term rental company registrations are “very stable.” Dealership and manufacturer self-registrations are more than 20% above the January-April 2022 volume but remaining far behind the level of 2021.
Noting that, compared passenger car business, the LCV market records significantly smaller sales volume, far fewer new model releases, and a nascent electrification progress, the German-based Dataforce nonetheless determined “interesting findings to be discovered.”
In the 12 biggest countries, “France and the U.K. are clearly the biggest markets by volume,” each with six figure registrations, the report revealed. Germany follows in third place ahead of Italy and Spain.
Comparing growth rates January to April 2023 over same time 2022, Spain, the Czech Republic and Austria realized more than 25% increase in LCV registrations. France and Poland recorded a decline.
Examining brand winners in the LCV market, Dataforce’s analysis reports four manufacturers — Ford, Renault, Volkswagen and Mercedes — each achieved double-digit growth rates. Peugeot, Citroen and Opel experienced declining growth rates.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the top manufacturer in Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, while Renault is in front in five different markets, according to the Dataforce report. Other market leaders include Ford in the U.K, Mercedes in Germany, and Fiat in Italy.
Looking at the market’s electrification progress, Dataforce found the e-LCV product range is gradually rising and alternative powertrains are increasing. Full EV market share climbed by two percentage points to 6.2%, with Sweden and the Netherlands recording the highest shares of electric vehicles and Belgium and the Czech Republic the lowest.
However, the diesel engine market continues to dominate with an 86% share, a slight decline of 3% since same time last year. The gas-powered LCV share remains “very stable,” according to the report.