The new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions evaluation is taking a toll on European automakers while the companies adjust to the more stringent rules. In the latest tally of deliveries in the European Union, volume dropped a massive 23.5 percent year-over-year in Septemeber. Last year, registrations totaled 1,427,013 vehicles, versus 1,091,220 in the same month in 2018. If it's any consolation, total deliveries have still increased by 2.5 percent from January to September.
The WLTP rules came into effect on September. The new regulations caused registrations to jump 31.2 percent in August due to people trying to get a new vehicle before the changes began.
The new regulations are hurting the Volkswagen Group most. For the entire corporation, deliveries dropped 48 percent to 171,963 vehicles from 330,527 last year. Porsche has taken the biggest hit with a 68.8 percent dip in volume to 1,817 units versus 5,826 in 2017. Things weren't great for Audi either with a 60.7 percent decrease to 30,138 deliveries in September 2018 from 76,776 a year ago.
WLTP replaces the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) emissions evaluation. The new test is supposed to provide more accurate results by evaluating models in real-world situations, including extended drives at high speeds. The result of this change is that many vehicles require tweaks to comply with the new regulations. Some engines now need an Otto particulate filter on the exhaust or detuning them to make less power. In other cases, WLTP has forced automakers to axe models completely like the Jaguar XJR575, VW Golf GTI, and gasoline-powered BMW 7 Series. Temporary production stoppages have affected the Audi RS3 and Peugeot 308 GTI, too.