Car assembly figures for Europe dropped by 6 percent on average during the first six months of the year. Agoria says this has a major impact on the Belgian automotive industry as well. "Belgian suppliers for the international market are being confronted with a 15 percent drop, with 8 in 10 companies being affected", says Ben Van Roose of Agoria.
However, at present Belgium is not bearing the brunt of the poor figures. Employment figures are not affected at present. "Both Audi Brussels and Volvo Gent are manufacturing new models today. The managements anticipated well: they knew they had to adapt their factory. They prepared for the models of the future and were able to present their factory as one worth new investments with the mother company." Bus builders Van Hool and VDL Bus are also doing well.
This being said, the Belgian economic prospects are not too good. The economic growth slackened to reach 0.2 percent in the previous quarter, compared to 0.5 percent the quarter before that. However, Eurostat figures show that Belgium is in line with the European average of 0.2 percent.