LCV market Europe 2012: the Light segment
Following the general overview I made some days ago, it is time for the sales registrations analysis of the first segment: the Light Commercial Vehicles. Based on the same sheet, this kind of vehicles are those cars looking like the Iveco Daily weighing between 2,8 and 6,0 tons (this analysis doesn’t include buses or trucks). Sometimes they are also classified according to their wheelbase, that usually goes from 3 meters up to 4 meters long. This is by far, the largest segment in LCV market, counting for 74% of total sales. The reason for this big share is the strong presence of Mercedes-Benz and its popular Sprinter in Germany, the largest market. But Mercedes is also popular in other medium size markets such as Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Considering current Economic situation in most of European countries, this segment had the lowest fall in terms of sales registrations, in countries like Germany, the UK, Netherlands and even France. They are not as expensive as the medium or heavy commercial vehicles, so they are not that expose to economic downturns. In Switzerland and Austria sales increased 6% and 3%.
This segment is divided in 3 categories: 2,8 – 3,49t, 3,5t, and 3,51 – 6,0 tons. The reason for this split is to show the importance of the second category. The lightest vans sales counted for 49% of total sales, and was closely followed by the mid light commercial vehicles (3,5t), which totalled 316.000 units, 47% of the total. Those weighing more than 3,5 and less than 6 tons aren’t that popular and a tax regulation reason could be behind that bad result. Compared to 2011 figures, the lightest ones had the biggest fall, down 11%, against -6,5% for the 3,5t category. Considering the 3 categories, the 3,51t – 6t category in Italy had the worst performance, down a massive 62%. More taxes on bigger cars explains part of this disaster. Besides, Iveco isn’t strong in this sub-segment. The UK and France are the opposite case in the same category. Sales increased 28% and 2,5%. The whole Light Commercial Vehicle segment had a terrible year in the most troubled economies: Greece (-53%), Portugal (-44%), Italy, and Spain.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the absolute leader of this segment. The brand is the leader in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, and is not far from the leader in Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Portugal and Spain. Excluding the 5 major markets, Mercedes occupies the second place, closely behind VW. But the importance of Germany gives it the pole position in Europe-17. Then comes VW, Ford, and Renault. Iveco comes at 7th position with almost 41.000 units sold, 6,1% market share. Even if it has an interesting position in the 3,5t and 3,51-6t categories, it is not strong in the largest one, the 2,8-3,49t. According to Iveco’s website, the Daily weight starts at 3,2t, but most of the range is concentrated in 3,5t weight. Due to the shrink in Italian market, France is the largest market for Iveco in this segment, its largest. It was the only market where Iveco’s sales surpassed the 10.000 units barrier. France counted for 28% of the brand’s sales in Europe-17 and outsold Italy, which counted for 22%. In 2011, France was still ahead of Italy but for only 1 basis point. After Greece and Portugal, where overall market and Iveco’s registrations dropped, Italy and Spain had the biggest falls, with 30% each. The brand increased its registrations in Switzerland (its 5th largest LCV market), Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Luxemburg. In terms of market share, it is clear that Italy ranks first, with a good 20,5% share. Spain comes next, with 9,5% share (from 10,6% in 2011), and then comes Switzerland with 8,5% share (from 8,3% in 2011). Iveco gained market share in 8 out of 17 markets analyzed.