New registrations of commercial vehicles in Europe dropped by a record 30.8% to 169,901 units, automakers group Acea said on Thursday.

Markets in western Europe and the new EU member states decreased at the same pace, by 31.0% and 29.0% respectively, reflecting the fallout of the credit crunch.

With registrations down for seven consecutive months, year to date sales were off 7.7% though the 1.8% growth in the new member states slightly offset the 8.8% loss in western Europe.

Demand for new light commercial vehicles fell 31.8% to 137,703.

The downturn affected all markets but especially Ireland (-60.4%) and Spain (-62.6%). The UK and Italy also remained on a downward trend, dropping by 47.4% and 31.9% respectively, while France (-16.0%) and Germany (-22.2%) were hit more severely in November than in any previous month this year. The main markets in the new member states faced a downturn ranging from -14.7% in Poland to – 33.8% in the Czech Republic.