Automobile registrations in Belgium are just below eight million units in 2020, a slight increase from the previous year. The number of new vehicle registrations plummeted from about 688,000 in 2019 to about 556,000 in 2020. This decrease can largely be attributed to measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Belgium across 2020.
Most popular types of vehicles
The largest segment of motor vehicle registrations in Belgium comprises passenger cars. In 2020, petrol and diesel still account for the majority of passenger cars on the road by fuel type, but electric and hybrid cars have seen an annual increase from 2014 onwards. The number of electric passenger cars reached just under 24,000 in 2020, a significant increase of more than 56 percent year-on-year. The price of car ownership in Belgium has become equal across fuel types and it is expected that electric vehicle sales will accelerate under appropriate charging investments by the government. However, deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of electrification put Belgium at risk of losing its importance as a regional transportation leader. The corridor of trans-European road networks (TENtec) is fully completed in Belgium. Belgium's automotive infrastructure helps carry the flow of goods in and out of continental Europe. Many highways act as transition routes to other countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Europe's second-largest port, Antwerp, along with many other coastal and inland ports, connects to Belgium's extensive highway network forming a vital transportation hub. The most popular passenger car models are typically hatchbacks and other subcompacts, but SUVs and crossovers have become increasingly popular.
Leading car brands in Belgium
The popularity of car brands in Belgium has changed over the last couple of years. Volkswagen is currently the most popular passenger car brand in the country. That said, sales show a shift towards more expensive models. Mercedes and BMW have seen the biggest growth in sales between 2014 and 2020.
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