Belux car market continues growth, diesel cars disappearing

The car market in Belgium and Luxembourg starts the same way it ended last year: in January 2024, 46,667 new cars were registered, which is 17.1% more than in the same month last year.

These are deliveries of cars ordered last year, so it’s too early to see an influence of the ‘salon conditions’ almost every importer and manufacturer offered in January. As usual, the special conditions month for car purchase in Belgium until last year coincided with the Brussels Motor Show (except during the pandemic). This year, there was no Brussels Motor Show, only a ‘Brussels Auto Show’ with a totally different formula and public.

Light commercial vehicle registrations are also progressing (+15.7%), while the registrations of light trucks practically doubled (+93.9%), and those of heavy trucks increased by 11.2%.

As usual, the absolute figures for light trucks (less than 16 tons) are much lower (one-tenth, approximately) than those for heavy trucks. January also was a good month for the two-wheelers, registrations upped 5% to 1,625 units.

BMW stays on top

With 5,438 BMWs registered in January, the Munich-based brand stays on top of the rankings, selling 31.1% more cars than last year in January and scoring a market share of almost 11.7%, a record.

VW-daughter Audi did very well and increased its registrations by 73.9%, capturing second place (usually reserved for its mother brand) in the rankings. Third is Mercedes, which saw its registrations grow by 8.3%.

The result is that the top three in the Belux registrations are occupied by three premium brands, which must also be a premiere. Undoubtedly, this can only be explained by the orders in the company car segment being executed in January and the still growing part of this company car segment in the total market.

Fourth place is for Volkswagen, which saw its sales grow by 4.3%, and fifth is again an important player in the fleet market: Volvo increased its registrations in January by 68.9%.  Toyota (6th place) has pushed Peugeot to 7th place, despite a light loss of 1.7%, but that was nothing compared to the -20.2% of Peugeot.

8th place is for Dacia, which saw its January registrations increase by 67.3%, followed by Skoda (9th, +26.92%) and mother company Renault (10th, +10.65%). Tesla has progressed to 11th place, increasing its registrations by 199.8% and attaining a market share of almost 4%.

Performers and underperformers

Apart from BMW, Audi, Volvo, Dacia, and Tesla, already mentioned, other decent performers were Kia (+25%), Nissan (+22.7%) Land Rover (+54.8%), Suzuki (+98.7%), Cupra (+139.5%), MG (+74.9%), Honda (+85.9%), Alfa Romeo (+34.1%), BYD (+424%!), Lexus (+46,.6%), and Smart (+522.2%). Remember that, from Land Rover onward (17th in the ranking), we’re talking smaller numbers here.

The gross of the Stellantis makes was not performing well in January. We already talked about Peugeot losing share and places, but also Opel (16th, -33.8%), Citroën (18th, -23.3%), Fiat (25th, -56.2%), Jeep (28th, -26.4%), and DS (35th, -57.9%) were underperforming.

Other noticeable losers were Seat (21st, -29.6%), Mini (22nd, -26.8%), Porsche (24th, -37.9%), Lynk & Co (36th, -78.2%, and Subaru (38th, -73.2%).

Diesel cars have only an 8% market share left in 2023

When we look back to 2023,  we see that in the Belux, 59% of the new cars registered were electrified: BEVs, PHEVs, and HEVs. 77% of them were registered by companies, and 23% by individual buyers.

The sales of gasoline cars still increased slightly (by 6%), but as the total market grew by almost 30%, the market share of gasoline cars lowered to 32%.

The category most affected was diesel cars. Diesel sales shrunk by almost 30% to a market share of 8%, which was still 15% in 2022.

The car registrations in 2023 show a big jump for electrified cars and the demise of diesel-powered vehicles /Belga- Statbel



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