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More than a third of cars still not WLTP-tested

More than a third (37%) of carmakers’ model ranges in Europe were not WLTP-homologated by mid-November, with the lack in progress resulting in the lowest October new car registrations since 2014.

The Peugeot 3008 was Europe’s top-selling SUV in October

Although the latest homologation figures from Jato Dynamics show some improvement rom the start of October when nearly half (43%) of cars were not WLTP-compliant, they highlight the continued impact on the new car market. Last month saw 1.12 million vehicles registered in Europe, down 7.1% on the same time last year. This follows a 23.4% drop in September.

Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst, said: “We expected another drop in October, as the homologation process is taking its time. However, it is concerning to see that some of the industry’s key players are still quite behind in the process.”

However, year to date figures remain unimpacted and indicate overall registrations are at the highest point of the past 10 years.

Among the major markets, October’s decline was most evident in Germany and Italy – down 7.4% and 6.9% year on year respectively, as well as in mid-size markets like Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. Interestingly, Poland became Europe’s sixth largest market during the month, despite recording a 1.5% drop in registrations.

Registrations were also hit by further downturns in diesel vehicles, which had started to lose ground again after some months of stability. Registrations fell by 24% during October, accounting for 34.1% of the total market. Jato added that this can be attributed to the fact that many of the diesel models popular among consumers are non-homologated versions. Meanwhile, alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to gain traction with their market share increasing by 2 percentage points to 7.5%, while demand for pure electric cars grew immensely, with volume up by 70%.

The Volkswagen brand reclaimed the top spot in the brand rankings, but also lost market share as its volume fell by 15.6%. However, the biggest drop among the brands came from Audi, where volume was down 53% on the same time last year. Meanwhile, the growth posted by Peugeot and Citroen in the PSA Group was offset by a 7.1% drop in registrations recorded by Opel/Vauxhall, which was severely impacted by the fall in demand for one of its key models – the Mokka – in the UK, France and Germany.

The Volkswagen Golf reclaimed its position as Europe’s best-selling car, despite posting large drops in Germany (down 11%), the UK (down 32%), France (down 41%), Italy (down 44%), and Spain (down 51%).

And as in September, the SUV segment once again bucked the negative impact of both WLTP and the diesel crisis, with registrations growing by 7.2% to 397,200 units and their market share jumping from 30.8% in October 2017 to 35.5% last month.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.