Belgian car production slumps
Car production at the three major car makers active in Belgium fell by a quarter during 2009. Audi, Volvo and Ford produced 171,000 fewer cars.
According to the Francophone business paper L'Echo, car production in Belgium slumped from 688,000 to 517,000 cars in the course of 2009.
At Ford Genk, which focuses on the manufacture of larger vehicles such as the S-Max, production was down 36%. At Audi in Brussels production fell from 86,000 to 63,000 vehicles. At Opel in Antwerp production dipped under 100,000 as a result of the end of production of the Astra model.
Volvo, the only manufacturer to show little change, produced 181,000 vehicles. The firm managed to buck the market thanks to the success of its C30, S40 and V50 models.
Sales figures were mainly down during the first half of 2009. In the second half of the year there was an improvement.
Wilson De Pril of Agoria told L'Echo that production levels in Belgium are starting to assume alarming levels: "We must battle to get order for new models from the parent companies."