Wltp emissions standard causes turbulence in car sales

wltp emissions standard causes turbulence in car sales

German carmakers continue to struggle with the new WLTP emissions and consumption standard.

Industry leader volkswagen suffered a severe drop in deliveries in september, BMW could also have done better. And VW – like its subsidiary porsche – expects continued pressure on sales in the coming months, as the companies announced on friday.

The changeover to the new test procedure (worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedure) continues to have the greatest impact on the people of wolfsburg. The core brand VW passenger cars and other of the group’s twelve vehicle brands had already presented weak sales figures – now, with a total of 827,700 vehicles delivered, a minus of 18.1 percent was recorded for september.

Volkswagen is making slow progress with WLTP type approval, partly due to the large number of engine-transmission variants. On the other hand, the company’s engineers were also busy with other things during the diesel crisis, such as software updates for manipulated diesel cars. Since 1. In september no more vehicles with old test standards were allowed to be registered. This led to a sale of old cars in the months of july and august. After nine months, the volkswagen group still has a 4.2 percent increase in sales to 8.13 million vehicles.

But the coming months will remain difficult. "Even in october we will still see effects in europe. For november and december, we are expecting stronger months again in this region," said vw group sales chief christian dahlheim.

In addition to the problems in europe, where more than a third fewer cars were delivered to customers in september than in the same month last year, things are currently not going so well in china either. Customers there are waiting because of the customs dispute with the U.S. And are no longer making such bold purchases at car dealerships. The people’s republic currently accounts for almost half of all deliveries in the VW group – so a recent drop of almost 6 percent is painful to watch.

After nine months, porsche – the pearl of the group – has sold around 6 percent more cars than in the previous year; in july and august in particular, the stuttgart-based company stepped on the gas. Here, too, the coming months were allowed to remain a challenge. Porsche’s head of sales, detlev von platen, expects to be able to at least match the 2017 figure by the end of the year. In september, VW’s top-tier subsidiary audi sold a good one-fifth fewer cars than a year ago.

At BMW, the WLTP changeover is causing headaches because the company had already almost checked off the issue of certifying its car models. However, the munich-based company also recorded a drop in sales of just under 5 percent in europe in september, which was also due to the weak british market. With reference to the "distortions" caused by WLTP and high discounts, BMW even had to cut its profit forecast two weeks ago.

BMW sales boss pieter nota spoke of stable sales in the face of "unusual challenges. At the core brand, car sales increased by 0.8 percent to 200,710 units. The bavarians were unable to close the gap on mercedes-benz from the daimler group in sales of premium cars, although the swabians had to cope with a severe slump. After nine months, mercedes-benz has a lead of almost 149,000 cars.


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