New WLTP fuel econ­omy tests cause drop in sales of new cars

Autocar - - PARIS MOTOR SHOW -

THE UK’S NEW car mar­ket fell by 20.5% in Septem­ber year on year, ac­cord­ing to data from the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders. The sharp de­cline is largely due to the on­go­ing im­pact of the WLTP emis­sions reg­u­la­tions that were in­tro­duced on 1 Septem­ber.

Th­ese reg­u­la­tory changes mean that many man­u­fac­tur­ers are strug­gling to test and ho­molo­gate vari­ants of cars and some have been taken off sale as a re­sult. A to­tal of 338,334 new cars were reg­is­tered last month, about 87,000 fewer than in Septem­ber 2017. Volk­swa­gen, in par­tic­u­lar, has strug­gled to get its cars through test­ing on time, with a 55% year-on-year fall in reg­is­tra­tions last month.

By com­par­i­son, there was a no­table 23.1% year-on-year rise in reg­is­tra­tions in Au­gust as man­u­fac­tur­ers tried to shift as much old stock (that would not meet new reg­u­la­tions) as pos­si­ble. Diesel cars suf­fered the sharpest de­cline in Septem­ber, drop­ping 42.5% com­pared with the same month last year. Diesel now has a mar­ket share of just 29%.

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