Coronavirus: Belgian car sector could take four years to recover
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Coronavirus: Belgian car sector could take four years to recover

Credit: Belga

The sales of new cars in Belgium could drop by up to 35% this year due to the coronavirus crisis, according to Traxio, the mobility sector’s federation.

New car sales dropped by 90% in April due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

“Despite the lockdown being lifted, people still telework. They drive less and, therefore, the sector is feeling it,” said Traxio spokesperson Philippe Rylant.

“It’s not certain that we’ll be able to compensate for our losses in 2021,” Rylant said. “It will take three to four years before we can return to the pre-crisis situation.”

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There were more new car registrations in May than in April, though 35.7% fewer cars were sold compared to the same time last year.

Dealerships and importers are currently offering significant price cuts and deals as they are trying to sell the cars they accumulated over the last two months, with Renault offering discounts of up to €8,000 and Ford launching a new loan involving no payment in the first three months.

Sales of used cars have doubled since 11 May, on the other hand, according to Jeroen Lissens, Communications Director at BMW Belux. The used car market saw a comparatively lower drop of 15%, according to Traxio.

At an EU level, global car sales dropped by 76.3% in April and by 52.3% in May compared to 2019. The Spanish market was hit the worst, followed by France, Italy and Germany.

Some car manufacturers have already announced layoffs, with Jaguar Land Rover announcing 1,100 cuts in the UK and Renault reportedly laying off 15,000 people worldwide.

Germany’s production is expected to drop by 26% this year, which could lead to 100,000 layoffs according to the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR).

The Brussels Times

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