The Decline In European Car Sales - What's The Main Cause?
So far this year, there’s been a considerable decline in European car sales. For example, figures for January 2019 revealed a decline by 7%. The decline can largely be attributed to the introduction and effects of new vehicle testing called WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure).
In this article we look at what WLTP is and how this has impacted European car sales. Also, we’ll look at how the market shares of top manufacturers have changed from 2018 to 2019.
European Car Sales 2019
Below we've created an interesting infographic using statistics from carsalebase.com to show the change in European car sales from 2018 to 2019. From this you can see the predominant decline of European car sales so far this year and the change in different European markets.
Car Sales Decline infographic by Charlotte Kennedy
So What is WLTP?
WLTP is the name of the test used to measure how economical a vehicle is, by measuring 3 things:
- Fuel consumption
- CO2 emissions
- Pollutant emissions
For electric cars, energy consumption is measured.
The new WLTP tests replaced the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) which, up until now, was how vehicles were tested based on theoretical driving.
Click here to find out more about WLTP.
How Has WLTP Impacted Car Production?
When WLTP came into force, it had a major impact on the automotive industry. Due to the vehicle testing changes, many car manufacturers such as Porsche had to temporarily close their order books. Manufacturers were required to retest and update each model in their entire range due to the new WLTP standards. The rigorous testing meant that waiting times for a factory ordered vehicle increased. Also, WLTP testing forced manufacturers to axe some models in their ranges as they didn’t comply with WLTP regulations.