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Audi’s home market sales declined almost 70% in September

Audi suffered a near-70% decline in registrations in its home market of Germany during September as the effects of the roll-out of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure was felt.

As reported by AM following the publication of the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders’ (SMMT) monthly registrations figures last week, the Volkswagen Group accounted for 49% of the UK’s total registrations decline of 20.5% (87,336 vehicles) last month.

But speaking at a conference on Friday (October 5), Audi’s interim chief executive, Bram Schot, answered questions about his brands European results, and revealed that it fared far worse in some other territories.

Audi’s registrations fell by 53.42% to 13,797 in the UK and 69.4% to 6,866 cars in Germany during the same period.

Europe-wide, the brand’s registrations decline was 55.5%, meanwhile.

Quoted in The Financial Times, Schot said that “supply-side” challenges resulting from the new WLTP fuel economy and RDE emissions standards that took effect on September 1 had been to blame for the decline.

“We expected challenging months and are responding actively to the situation,” he said, adding: “Week after week we once again have more engine/transmission variants in our portfolio and the feedback on our new models is very positive.”

The FT reported that earlier this year, the Volkswagen Group had said that the introduction of WLTP would cost it more than a billion Euros, adding that both Daimler and BMW had also issued profit warnings blaming WLTP alongside trade war woes.

Despite September’s decline, Audi’s year-to-date global sales were up 2%, despite a 10.2% year-on-year decline to 124,101 in the UK.

Citi analyst Raghav Gupta-Chaudhary told the FT that registrations were down about 22% overall in Europe’s five biggest markets.

But Volkswagen Group brands had been worst-hit by the WLTP/RDE switch, however, with deliveries down about 50% last month, he said.

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