Dealers confused over WLTP, according to survey

Time 9:00 am, August 8, 2018

DEALERS are confused about the forthcoming Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, according to new research by Manheim.

Results from its latest dealer sentiment survey have revealed that more than a third of dealers (35 per cent) aren’t aware that the procedure governing emissions comes into force on September 1.

In addition, nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of dealers aren’t up to speed with the timetable for the roll-out and are unclear on what the new testing means for new cars after the deadline.

WLTP is a new protocol to measure vehicles’ fuel consumption, CO2 and pollutant emissions. The procedure was developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which has been in use since the 1990s.

One of its key objectives is to better align laboratory test results with realistic vehicle usage, based on current engine technologies. WLTP also aims to harmonise test procedures on a global level, to create an equal playing field in the market.

The sentiment survey is conducted monthly among Manheim’s independent panel of dealers and receives approximately 240 responses.

In a wake-up call for the market, just under half of the dealers polled (47 per cent) believe the new procedure is creating supply shortages, while the rest are experiencing little or no impact.

The survey also revealed that almost nine in 10 dealers (86 per cent) believe there will be tactical registrations ahead of the deadline.

Philip Nothard, Manheim’s head of external relations, who carries out the survey, said: ‘The response to these questions is startling. With less than six weeks to go until the implementation of WLTP, that a third of dealers say they are unaware of WLTP should be of grave concern to the government and manufacturers.

‘In addition, almost two-thirds report being unaware of any timetable, a similar number are unclear about what it actually means to new car sales, and just over half are saying they’re not getting clarity from the brands they represent.’

He added that while it was no surprise that the vast majority of dealers believed there would be tactical registration of WLTP-affected vehicles ahead of the new testing regime coming into force, it would create a significant spike in August registration figures. This would also be likely to affect residual values for certain variants further down the line, although that may be countered by a pause in new car production while manufacturers brought in technical improvements.

Nothard stated that half of the dealers responding to the survey said they were already experiencing a shortage of new stock.

Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/PA Images

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