In the third quarter of 2003, commercial vehicle registrations in Western Europe reached a total of 493,078 units, a 1.1 % increase relative to the same quarter in 2002 (+1.0 % for the EU15), according to the European vehicle makers' trade body, ACEA.

ACEA said that the result was mainly derived from the good performance of the light commercial vehicle segment up to 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) which reported Q3 sales of 411,602 units - 2% ahead of growth in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year.

However, sales of heavier vehicles continued to fall in the third quarter reflecting the investment lag cycle. ACEA said that sales of new medium and heavy vehicle registrations reached 74,482 units in the third quarter, a 3.4% drop over last year.

In terms of national results, Spain and the UK continued to outperform the region over the third quarter period, posting increases of +11.9% and +14.2%, respectively. Improvements were also noted for the German market (+0.7%).

Cumulative results for all commercial vehicle sales in the January-September period showed a drop of 0.8% for both the EU15 and Western Europe.

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