A dearth of WLTP-approved engines has left Volkswagen Group unable to provide a delivery date on orders for the majority of its range.
An internal Volkswagen document seen by Company Car Today showed that at the end of September, VW only had 18% of its engines approved to WLTP regulations. While these figures are for VW cars specifically, it is understood to be typical for the group as a whole.
The lack of WLTP-approved models mean that those fleets with cars on order may see a change in CO2 figures for their vehicles when WLTP approval is granted. This could result in a change in the tax band for the car.
The document explains that Volkswagen fleet customers in this situation will be sent a letter to notify them of any change in CO2 figure for the vehicles they have ordered. However, Company Car Today sources have said the onus will be on the fleet to check the new CO2 figure on the letter and if necessary change or decline the order. If not, the car will be delivered as planned.
The issue hit in September, when VW fleet registrations fell nearly 80%. However, several Fleet Business Partner dealers have told Company Car Today that the problem is likely to continue to the end of the year.
The Europe-wide ordering issues stem from a shortage of WLTP approved models rather than a shortage of production. VW’s production for September, October and November is actually understood to be ahead of where it was last year.
Commenting on the situation, one VW dealer said: “The situation makes retail challenging, but for fleet it’s catastrophic. I think VW has accepted that Q4 for fleet has gone. Customers have really got to want a car [to not cancel and order from another manufacturer] because we can’t give any delivery date.”
Explaining why VW Group was behind other brands, CEO Herbert Diess blamed the dieselgate scandal for the tardy response to the WLTP changes. He said: “Volkswagen and Audi are lagging behind as regards WLTP. That’s also because we’ve devoted a lot of our attention to the diesel crisis.
“Our development teams were under huge pressure. However, we also have to admit that we didn’t control the WLTP project enough.”