Commercial vehicle sales in western Europe are set to decline this year as the eurozone debt crisis crimps demand, Germany's VDA industry association said on Friday.
"This year the conditions have become rougher," said VDA president Matthias Wissmann.
"Over the year, we expect new registrations of heavy trucks in western Europe to total between 256,000 and 250,000 units. That would be a drop of 2.0-4.0 percent compared with last year," Wissmann said.
The countries hit hardest by the crisis -- Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal -- accounted for just 15 percent of total sales in the region, he continued.
Nevertheless, "the sooner the finance markets can be stabilised, the faster the commercial vehicle markets will regain more dynamism," Wissmann said.
In other regions, the picture was more positive, VDA said.
"The global truck market for vehicles of over six tonnes will continue to expand in 2012, climbing by five percent to 3.27 million units, Wissmann said.
The US market was particularly dynamic and was set to grow by around 20 percent to 366,000 vehicles in 2012.
"This benefits in particular the German group brands, which have a market share of around 30 percent," Wissmann said.
The Russian, Japanese and Indian markets were also continuing to expand. And while following the introduction of a new exhaust standard, Brazil was seeing a temporary fall in its figures, in the medium term, it had still growth potential.
China, the world's largest commercial vehicle market, with well in excess of one million units, was "having a break from expansion this year with a slight drop of three percent," Wissmann said.
But "in the medium term, growth in China will continue," he insisted.