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Heavy-truck sales fall 15% in Western Europe

Registrations of trucks heavier than 16 tons fell to 18,973 vehicles from 22,391 units a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association said in a statement today. First-half sales rose 7% to 139,803 trucks. Truckmakers, including DaimlerChrysler AG and Volvo AB, posted sales increases prior to the required introduction of digital tachographs. Transport regulators use information recorded on the devices to see how far and how long a vehicle was driven to determine whether the operator was following safety regulations, such as exceding the speed limit, taking necessary resting time etc.). In Germany sales fell 44%, while the U.K. posted a 13% decline. Of the other countries in the top five, France's sales were unchanged, Italy rose 13% and Spain gained 15%. Bus and coach sales in June dropped 20% to 2,214 vehicles, with six-month sales gaining 5% to 17,060 units. Sales of commercial vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tons fell 0.2% last month to 194,773 units, with first-half sales gaining 4% to 1.08 million vehicles. Sales last month of medium-sized and heavy trucks weighing more than 3.5 tons fell 23% to 25,234 vehicles. (Bloomberg)