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Volkswagen Group brands account for 49% of September car registrations decline

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Volkswagen Group brands accounted for 49% of the UK’s total registrations decline of 20.5% (87,336 vehicles) as the brand’s WLTP-related supply woes were felt by car retailers in September.

A total of 42,830 fewer vehicles were registered by Audi, Bentley, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen last month than during in the same period in 2017.

In total, Volkswagen Group brands suffered an overall decline in registrations of 50.9%, to 43,457 (September 2017: 87,287).

Volkswagen suffered the biggest decline, of 55.18% to 16,283, as Audi slipped by 53.4%, Seat 36.7% and Skoda 31.3% year-on-year.

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The group’s lower volume sports car brands Porsche and Bentley, registered declines of 67.9% and 73.9%, meanwhile.

In a comment issued to AM this month Volkswagen UK said that, overall, the Volkswagen Group had expected the new WLTP test to impact the production of “approximately 200,000 to 250,000 vehicles” in H2 2018.

The shift to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure and Read Driving Emissions test on September 1 has also impacted the Volkswagen Group’s model, ranges, with fewer derivatives available to customers entering the group’s showrooms as a result of WLTP.

The statement from the group said: “The rationalisation of the model ranges and orientation to future market requirements are continuous processes within the Volkswagen Group brands, irrespective of WLTP.

“With the changeover to WLTP, complexity will be reduced at an even faster rate than was previously the case this year.

“As soon as affected model variants are sold out, no further orders for that version will be accepted.”

Some brands appeared to have prepared well for September’s shift in vehicle testing legislation.

The SMMT’s figures for the month showed that Mitsubishi’s registrations had risen by 35.44% to 3,233.

Mitsubishi Motors UK managing director, Rob Lindley, told AM: “We prepared extremely well for the introduction of WLTP and had large stocks of the new Outlander PHEV in the country when the plate change month arrived.

“As a result, I suspect that we were able to poach some sales from rival brands who were not in the same position.”

Among the other winners in September were Kia (up 3.78% to 16,299), Volvo (up 1.85% to 8,461), MG (up 19.95% to 1,010) and Subaru (up 62.55% to 829).

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