BRUSSELS -- New-car registrations in Belgium advanced 4.5 percent to 572,211 in 2011, surpassing the previous record of 547,347 set a year earlier, Brussels-based trade group Febiac said.
Belgians brought forward purchases of new vehicles before government incentives for low-emission models expired at the end of the year.
Febiac estimated the end of the incentives boosted registrations in December by about 20,000 cars, adding that it remains to be seen how a change in taxation of company-fleet cars will affect sales this year.
The trade group forecast a "calm" year for private buyers.
"Car sales will be driven primarily by macro-economic conditions, which aren't very rosy right now," Febiac said in the statement on Monday, without giving a 2012 estimate for the Belgian new-car market.
Febiac said it is unclear how the higher segments in the fleet market will adapt to the tax changes.