24 June 2009

Car Production Belgium: 2008


Belgium is a net exporter of vehicles, that is it makes more than is sold in the country. In 2001 Belgium made 1,060,000 cars and 130,000 commercial vehicles. In 2008, it had dropped to 680,000 cars and 44,000 commercials. That is a drop of 39% in unit volume. With a high paid workforce and no indigenous carmakers, Belgium is at the mercy of decisions made far away.

So which brands are made there? In 2001 33% of cars made were Fords, 30% by GM, VW 20%, Volvo 14% and Seat 4%. Ford and Volvo made up virtually all the commercial vehicles made. In 2008, Ford now had 41%, Volvo 27%, GM 19%, VW 8% and Audi 5%. Volvo are now the only volume commercial vehicle maker.

GM’s uncertainty could be detrimental for future manufacture and even Volvo will be disposed of by Ford, one can safely assume. How these moves will affect future vehicle manufacturing is hard to say but it will be increasingly difficult for Belgium to keep its plants open. It could become a net importer soon.

PS. Genk – Ford Mondeo, Galaxy, S-Max. Ghent - Volvo C30, S40, V50, XC60. Antwerp – Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Astra TwinTop. Brussels – Audi A1, A3; VW Polo.

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