European Truck Sales Continue To Slide

BRUSSELS (AP) -- European truck sales were down on the year for a fourteenth straight month in June, slumping 34.8 percent over 12 months, car makers' association ACEA said Friday.

Sales of trucks, vans and buses failed to see the turnaround that the car market saw last month when sales rose for the first time in over a year thanks to government car scrappage programs.

The group, which represents commercial vehicle makers Scania AB, Man AG, Volkswagen AG, AB Volvo, DAF Trucks and Iveco SpA, has warned it is suffering badly as companies cut back on big-ticket purchases.

Sales in the first six months of the year were down 37.2 percent, it said, as dealers shifted some 883,301 commercial vehicles compared to 1.4 million in the first half of 2008.

Some 152,832 commercial vehicles were sold in June compared to 234,261 during the same month last year, it said. It counts sales across the 27-nation European Union as well as in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

The biggest chunk of the market, vans, saw sales slump by a third in Spain and 40 percent in Britain, where the end of a construction boom has slowed economic growth and hiked unemployment. Van sales also fell by more than a quarter in Germany, the region's biggest market.

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