Survey: What is the biggest challenge that WLTP poses vehicle manufacturers?

27 July 2018

27 July 2018

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Much has been made of the WLTP test, which was introduced in September 2017 for new vehicles requiring type approval, and will apply to all vehicles from September this year.

Some manufacturers have said that the test procedure will cause production bottlenecks while they wait for results of the laboratory and real driving emissions (RDE) portions, while the need for retrofitting existing models to comply with stricter requirements could cost money.

In its recent first-half results paper, Daimler suggested that WLTP would hit the company financially in the second half of 2018. The need to retrofit vehicles with new technologies, such as petrol particulate filters (PPFs) would affect the company, and others too, a point made by Ford of Britain managing director Andy Barratt. Daimler also suggested that unsold stock would have to be retrofitted. 

Meanwhile, reports suggest Volkswagen (VW) have hired large areas and car parks to store vehicles that cannot be sold until they are WLTP compliant. There is also a possibility of pre-registration of vehicles, meaning they will meet existing standards, but this will also cause a financial impact.

Finally, there is also the issue of vehicle architecture, regarding options. The number of accessories will cause manufacturers problems going forward as every vehicle variant needs to be tested. Dropping options or combining them into vehicle ′packs’ would also take time and could cause production issues.

Therefore, Autovista Group wants to know which area will be affected most by WLTP. While it is ultimately a worthwhile test, and will eventually benefit the industry, becoming compliant is proving to be a difficult time for some carmakers.