Trends in the markets for commercial vehicles
We expect trends in the markets for light commercial vehicles in the individual regions to be mixed again in 2018. Overall, we expect a slight fall in demand in 2018, and a return to the growth trajectory for the years 2019 to 2022.
Due to the uncertainty caused by the United Kingdom’s European Union membership referendum in June 2016, we estimate that demand for light commercial vehicles in Western Europe in 2018 will be slightly below the previous year’s level. The United Kingdom and Italy are expected to record a decline. We anticipate that registrations in Germany will be around the previous year’s level.
In the Central and Eastern European markets, registrations of light commercial vehicles in 2018 will probably be perceptibly higher than in the previous year. In Russia, too, we expect the market volume to rise compared with 2017.
In North and South America, the light vehicle market is reported as part of the passenger car market, which includes both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
The market volume in the Asia-Pacific region in 2018 will probably record a slight year-on-year decline. We are also expecting demand in the Chinese market to fall short of the prior-year level. For India, we are forecasting a considerably higher volume in 2018 than in the reporting period. In the Japanese market, the downward trend is likely to continue at a slower pace.
In the markets for mid-sized and heavy trucks that are relevant for the Volkswagen Group, new registrations in 2018 are set to be slightly up on the level seen in 2017. We anticipate a slightly positive trend for the period from 2019 to 2022.
We assume that demand in Western Europe will taper off slightly year-on-year in 2018. In Germany, we expect the market to remain on a level with the previous year.
Central and Eastern European markets should record a moderate increase in demand. In Russia, we anticipate a further recovery in demand in 2018, though the growth rate seen in 2017 will not be repeated.
We believe that demand in the Brazilian market in 2018 will grow perceptibly from the low level of the previous year. This is due to the continuing economic recovery.
In the bus markets that are relevant for the Volkswagen Group, we expect to see a slight increase in demand in 2018. We anticipate that demand in Western Europe over the same period will be on a level with that seen in 2017. For Central and Eastern Europe, we are forecasting higher demand than in the previous year. In Brazil, new registrations will probably be slighty higher than the prior-year level.
For the period 2019 to 2022, we expect slight growth overall in the demand for buses in the markets that are relevant for the Volkswagen Group.