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The automotive industry in Flanders

For over half a century now, the automotive industry has played an essential role in Flanders’ economy. High-quality cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles are assembled in the region and exported the world over from a unique, central location in Europe that has all the logistics expertise your automotive business will ever need.

A road trip through Flanders’ automotive ecosystem

At the core of Flanders’ automotive industry are two car assembly plants – Volvo (Ghent) and Audi (Brussels) – as well as bus and truck manufacturers Van Hool (Lier), VDL Bus & Coach (Roeselare), DAF Trucks (Temse) and Volvo Trucks (Ghent). Together with Flanders’ dense network of universities and market-driven strategic research centers, they create the right climate for continuous innovation and pioneering R&D in the automotive sector.

The industry in facts and figures

3rd
largest industry in Flanders
6th
largest per capita producer in EU
> 84%
export ratio for assembled vehicles in Belgium

Talent at the wheel

Flanders’ highly educated, multilingual and hands-on workforce is the backbone of the region’s enviable international reputation in Europe’s automotive market. The flexible labor system for automotive employees provides the ideal framework for a flourishing industry.

Specific incentives

Flanders offers a number of incentives and measures that are particularly relevant to the automotive industry. Examples include:

  • Temporary economic unemployment – Employers who cannot employ their workers on a normal basis for economic reasons do not have to pay wages for the unemployment days. The Belgian Federal Employment Agency gives employees pay for those days of inactivity.
  • Fiscal advantages for night or shift work – Employers are excused from paying part of the advance tax payment that they have deducted from their employees’ wages. This exemption amounts to 18% of the total taxable wages, including the bonuses for working in shifts or night work.

Did you know that…

  • … Belgium (Flanders) is the sixth largest per capita producer of motor vehicles in the EU?
  • … Belgium (Flanders) is the second largest per capita car market in the EU?
  • … Belgium (Flanders) has the sixth largest market share for electric vehicles in the EU?
  • … Automotive workers in Flanders assemble twice as many cars per year as the EU average?
  • … Flanders is home to some of the world’s most famous automotive designers, including Lowie Vermeersch (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari…), Dirk Van Braeckel (Ford, Audi, VW…), Pierre Leclerq (Ford, BMW…), Steven Crijns (Lotus, McLaren) and Luc Donckerwolke (Hyundai, Lamborghini, Peugeot, Audi, VW)?
  • … The Port of Zeebrugge (Flanders) handles approximately 2.77 million vehicles per year, making it the world’s largest car transit port?

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