The latest study on light rail vehicles: despite the recessionary trend, demand is growing

The latest study on light rail vehicles: despite the recessionary trend, demand is growing

The global market for new vehicles is currently around €2.8 billion per year and is expected to grow further.

SCI Verkehr has published a new study looking at current trends in light rail vehicles. According to this study, the demand for light rail vehicles and streetcars (LRVs) has developed very dynamically over the past ten years. Despite tight municipal budgets, the political will to invest in climate-friendly mobility remains strong, especially in European cities.

"The global market volume for new vehicles is currently around EUR 2.8 billion per year, with annual expected growth of around 4% until 2026. However, measured in unit sales, the market will only grow by 0.4% p.a. between 2021 and 2026,” reports the study. 

The LRV market is undoubtedly affected by the current macroeconomic situation, which is influenced by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many economies are already in recession as a result of inflation and the energy crisis. Therefore, SCI Verkehr expects that new projects and light rail infrastructure expansion projects will be postponed.

It is expected that in cities with limited household budgets, people will often invest in upgrading old vehicles rather than buying new ones. This is particularly true for some countries in Eastern Europe and the former CIS.

The global LRV market is dominated by Alstom/Bombardier (their combined world market share is around 25 %), although their market shares in key markets such as Germany are declining. On the other hand, some manufacturers, notably CAF, Škoda, and Stadler, have won large orders in important European markets such as Germany, the Benelux countries, and the Nordic countries. Western European manufacturers largely dominate regional markets around the world. The North American market is dominated by Siemens, and the African market, which consists mostly of the French-speaking Maghreb countries, is controlled by the French manufacturer Alstom, similar, to the Australian market, which used to be a stronghold of Bombardier. The exception is Asia, which is largely served by CRRC.

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