BMW takes lead on Belgian car market in January
According to figures from Febiac (Belgian car federation), BMW takes the lead of all brands in January 2020. There are also interesting shifts to be seen between the different drive modes.
BMW accounted for 5.397 registrations or a market share of 10,41 %. Volkswagen ranks second with 5,071 registrations (market share of 9,78%), Peugeot third with 3.665 records (market share of 7,07%). A BMW spokesman says that the carmaker owes its success in January to the renewal of its range (new 1-Series, X1, and 3 Touring).
Premium brands dominate
In Belgium, one new car out of three sold is from a premium brand, according to Febiac. This is due to the significant number of premium company cars and the aggressive fleet policy from premium brands.
Belgium traditionally sees the three major premium brands with Audi (6th place), BMW, and Mercedes (4th place), appear within the top 10 of best-selling cars over a year, which is unique in Europe.
This is due to the tax-friendly company car policy of the Belgian government. Although this is often criticized by environmentalists, among others, it also ensures that Belgium has one of the youngest, cleanest, and safest car fleets on a European scale, as most cars are replaced every four years.
Hybrids on the rise
According to Febiac, January was also characterized by a sharp shift from traditional gasoline engines to hybrid cars. The share of gasoline fell to 56%, compared to 61,6% for 2019.
Hybrids reached 8,5% (4,8 % in 2019). Diesel cars are recovering with a market share of 33,5% in January versus 31,4% in 2019. Fully electric accounted for 1,4% of registrations in January, versus 1,6% in 2019.
EVs and PHEVs face the same issues
The drop in sales of EVs is due to the government bonuses that disappeared at the end of 2019. Despite this, EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid vehicles) share the same charging issues because of the lack of sufficient public charging infrastructure.
PHEVs become more popular, thanks to their low CO2 emissions and their high tax-deductibility. However, nothing stops the user from driving such models (largely) on fossil fuel.
In this sense, the government can only hope that their users will be encouraged to charge their vehicles sufficiently frequently in a way they not only exploit their economic but also their ecological advantage. One way to boost a mind-shift could be to only give a tax benefit for ‘electric’ kilometers driven, not for tank cards for fossil fuels as it is today.