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