Although the shadow of the pandemic affected 2021, the year was a marked improvement on 2020, with trucks registering a 22.3% increase on 2020 levels, towed vehicles scoring a 32.4% rise and buses gaining a healthier 11.1% boost on 2020 levels in figures released by the Associazione Nazionale Filiera Industria Automobilistica (ANIFA).
2021 Market Holds Firm After Difficult Second Half
After a weak October and November, December proved a good finale for both trucks and towed vehicles, consisting of trailers and semi-trailers. There were 2,343 new truck registrations in December, against 1933 from December 2020, which amounted to a 21.2% increase on December 2020 levels. For towed vehicles, there was an even bigger increase in sales in December, with 147 trailer units registered, amounting to a 34.9% increase and the registration of 1,343 semi-trailers, amounted to a 44.3% improvement. Taking both figures into account, the 1,490 registrations amounted to a very strong 43.3% rise on December 2020 (1,040 registrations).
These very strong figures worked as a final push for the year, with the total volume of truck sales for 2021 reaching 24,807, against 20,276 from the year before – a significant 22.3% increase on the year-on-year sales. There were 15,126 towed vehicles sold in 2021, which amounts to a year-on-year increase of 32.4%, or 11,421, which was the final result for 2020. Addedly, there were 1,425 trailer registrations, amounting to a 27.6% year-on-year increase, whilst 13,701 semi-trailers were registered amounting to a jump of 33%.
Northern Italy Leading the Way as Truck Registrations Swell
All Italian regions recorded double-digit rises, in positive news for the whole sector. The biggest increases occurred in the north, with the North East and North West scoring growth of 27.5% and 26.8%, respectively, while Southern Italy and the Islands recorded 18.9%, followed by the central region with a respectable 13% boost for 2021.
Looking to vehicle classes, vehicles between 12-16 tonnes grew the most as it recorded a 46.4% growth, followed by trucks weighing between 6-8 tonnes nearly securing a 30% increase (29.6%), followed by vehicles of over 16 tonnes registering a 24.5% improvement on 2020.
There was less movement for vehicles between 5-6 tonnes with a 3.3% rise against 2020, with vehicles between 11.5-12 tonnes faring better at 5.6%. It wasn’t all good news for the sector though as trucks weighing between 3.5-5 tonnes, which closed the year with an 18.8% drop, with vehicles between 8-11.5 tonnes also seeing a 14.6% decline.
Finally, rigid trucks saw a healthy 23.7% rise in 2021, while road tractors also cumulatively improved by 20.9%, showcasing almost unanimous growth across the board.
Moving on to towed vehicles, the growth registered across Italy from North to South was impressive as well. The North East saw a 58.2% increase, followed by 30% for the central region, 22.8% for Southern Italy plus the Islands and 20.7% for the North West.
Luca Sra: “2021 has Closed with a growing Industrial and Commercial Vehicle Market”
Luca Sra, ANFIA Delegate for freight transport, declared: “2021 has closed with a growing industrial and commercial vehicle market in all segments, despite the period of crisis due to the pandemic, the difficulties in the procurement of components and the increase in the prices of raw materials.” Sra also mentioned that with the Italian Government examining whether to reward tax reimbursements for fleets choosing more sustainable approaches for its vehicles, which could be a factor in whether fleets invest in 2022.
Buses Figures in December Particularly Strong
With 387 units sold in December, the final month was 40.7% above December 2020’s benchmark of 275. This final push helped 2021 close with sales of 3,495 units, against 3,145 for 2020, making for an 11.1% increase for the year-on-year figures. School buses were the big riser for the section, with a 65.8% increase recorded as 605 units were registered this year against 365 from the year before. ANIFA predicts that with more electrically-powered buses in the future, this will help buses secure strong figures for the year ahead.
Of the four regions, three regions recorded double-digit increases, with the fourth recording double-digit losses. Southern Italy and the Islands saw a 20.8% increase, followed by the North East (17.5%) and the central region (15.1%), with the North West seeing a 16.4% decline.