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The automotive industry in Flanders
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.
Almost 4 million vehicles are handled in Flanders every year. Since 2014, the Port of Zeebrugge is the main automotive logistic hub for light vehicles, before Bremerhaven (Germany).
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.
Companies with or deciding to set up their activities or headquarters in Flanders can reap the rewards of:
- various government grants and subsidies for transformation, ecological, R&D and growth investments;
- unique tax incentives for various types of business activities and investments;
- a set of employment subsidies to further reduce your salary costs as well as fiscal remuneration advantages;
- a number of funding options to help you get off the ground.
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.
- … 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 2.8 million vehicles per year, making it the world’s largest car transit port?