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WLTP ... When will it ever end ?

Have you been looking at new cars and baffled by the lead times & availability ?

Cast your mind back the start of what was the most glorious of summers ... and we were just hearing about the impending changes to the emissions testing regime and how all cars from 1st September will need to comply.

What followed was a rush of communications from several manufacturers ... a range of incentives to sell their existing stock ... and then for some manufacturers a great disappearing act as models ... engines and transmission combinations were removed from price lists and order banks.

Volvo, BMW and Mitsubishi went early ... clearly most of their stocks by the end of June in preparation of forward orders from this point being WLTP ready ... other manufacturers phased their approach and depending on the age of the model range have gradually re-appeared with compliant model lines.

Getting vehicles re-tested has its challenges

  • Official testing must be carried out at independent testing locations - are there simply aren't that many across Europe
  • If a manufacturer isn't satisfied with the result they have to make changes to the vehicle and return it to the queue for testing
  • Model ranges are complex and every derivative has to be tested ... each model ... engine and transmission ... and then there are the factory extras that may impact weight or emissions
  • Older model ranges employ older technologies and engines and these are therefore harder to achieve acceptable results under the new testing regime.

Availability and lead times have suffered - as a result in delays in getting vehicles compliant - but also a quantum shift it seems in buying patterns following a stream of government statements around the future policy of diesel as a fuel.

The result has seen demand for petrol engines soar ... and with an improvement in both fuel economy and emissions  of automatic transmissions to almost match those of a manual gearbox demand has polarised into one area for many leading manufacturers  - causing shortages in components and extended lead times.

We recently placed orders for near identical SUV's at the same dealer on the same day ... one a petrol automatic ... and one a diesel manual ... the petrol car is due at the end of May ... the diesel will arrive into stock shortly after Christmas - even a diesel auto would arrive in time for new registration day in March. 

So ... to actually answer the question ?

We can now finally see light at the end of the tunnel ... everyday manufacturers are confirming more vehicles open for ordering ... and we're getting towards the more niche and obscure models in the some ranges.

We anticipate that almost all models will be compliant by early January - although some models will remain unavailable until the next brand new model of that range appears. 

In some cases manufacturers are still building cars for stock - just not releasing them for order - the specifications will be fixed but for these cars initial lead times with be relatively short.

Those most likely to not appear until the new models arrive are larger vehicles which may be previously been fitted with lower output / emission engines which manufacturers simply can't achieve acceptable results with right now.

Manufacturers are also simplifying ranges - reducing complex model line ups and factory options in response of the required testing.

We also anticipate it taking the rest of the first quarter for availability and lead times to return to more acceptable levels.

So ... what are the options ?

If you are in the market for a new car anytime in 2019 then we recommend you at least start asking questions over lead times for your favoured models ... some models are being quoted as June or July to dealer and whilst this could come forward we certainly wouldn't rely on it.

All new models introduced since September 17 are WLTP compliant so will avoid any testing delays - they will also be packed with the most up to technology in terms of safety and connectivity - as well as the very latest styling.

Consider your choice of fuel ... if you keep you car long term and not considering either a PCP or PCH - where a finance company will set the residual value - then consider taking a diesel vehicle to avoid the delays - especially if you are looking at anything bigger than an Audi Q3 or Volvo XC40 where fuel economy for diesel is still much improved over their petrol counterparts.

Whatever your requirements you can take the guesswork and hassle out of your next new car purchase by talkiing to the mydrive Team at TYSONCOOPER - they will have the most up to date information relating to vehicle availability ... lead times and new model launches - and of course will save you money in the process !

CALL THEM NOW on 01473 873001 or email them ... mydrive

Of course there are still plenty of manufacturers and models available right now - so if you're in the market for a great deal then don't delay - call the team for details of our latest vehicle offers.

Looking for a company car or business purchase  ? ... head to our businessdrive website for the latest offers ... Just go to:

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Posted on 27th November 2018 at 12:06 PM

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