BERLIN, June 22 (Reuters) - Western European sales of trucks weighing 6 tonnes or more may drop 2-4 percent this year to as many as 256,000 vehicles, the president of German automakers’ lobby group VDA said.
The expected contraction will be minor as the crisis-ridden countries of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain account for only 15 percent of the region’s sales volume, Wissmann told a conference in Frankfurt on Friday.
“This year the conditions have become rougher,” he said. “The sooner financial markets can be stabilised, the faster the commercial vehicles market will regain more dynamism.”
European Union sales of heavy trucks weighing 16 tonnes or more declined 7 percent in April to 18,930 vehicles with Italy and Greece plunging 41 percent and 52 percent respectively, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
Year-to-date sales in the 27-nation European Union fell 4.2 percent, ACEA said.
The global market for trucks above 6 tons may grow 5 percent this year to 3.27 million vehicles, powered by the United States which may expand about a fifth to 366,000 vehicles, Wissmann said. Chinese truck sales may ease 3 percent in 2012, though keep growing over the medium-term. (Reporting By Andreas Cremer; Editing by Dan Lalor)