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Key takeaways about the EU auto industry for Quarter 1 2017.
During the first quarter of the year, demand for new commercial vehicles in the European Union maintained its positive momentum. The market posted increases throughout the first three months of the year: +8.2% in January, +2.7% in February and +10.0% in March – the latter partially due to Easter falling in March last year and in April this year.
The EU market expanded by 7.4% so far in 2017, counting 606,612 new commercial vehicles. Growth was sustained across all segments but demand was especially strong for light commercial vehicles (+8.1%), which account for the majority of commercial vehicle sales.
Most of the major markets performed noticeably better than in the same period last year.
Spain (+20.4%) and Italy (+13.4%) posted the highest increases, followed by France (+9.4%) and Germany (+7.5%). The UK market remained more or less stable (? 0.9%).
So far in 2017, EU exports of light and heavy commercial vehicles grew strongly. With a total export value of around €2.7 billion, results were 14.6% higher than in 2016.
Given that the value of commercial vehicle imports (including buses) remained rather
stable +1.4% over the same period, the EU’s trade balance had a surplus of €689 million over the first quarter of the year.
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