The reason for this is that the new test procedure requires significantly more time than the previous NEDC procedure. “An additional factor at Volkswagen is that the same teams responsible for the WLTP transition were and still are also involved in the development of the diesel updates,” said Zahn. That ties up a great deal of capacities. In the past months, the company modified just under 2.5 million diesel vehicles in Germany. Even though employees are currently working in three shifts at the test beds, not all of the models could be switched to WLTP (homologated) by September 1.
To keep waiting times as short as possible for customers, Volkswagen is using the systematic storage of vehicles – for example at the new airport in Berlin. “Volkswagen has been producing vehicles that already comply with WLTP requirement since the beginning of August – all of which are still awaiting approval by the authorities,” reported Zahn. As soon as the approvals have been received, the vehicles will be delivered to customers immediately. “That is not a theoretical situation, it is already an established practice.”
The first few thousand vehicles have already left the storage spaces. More than 80 percent of the temporarily stored cars are vehicles that were ordered during the past few months, and which have already been sold to customers. Zahn: “There will be no battles over discounts.”
Regarding the coming months, particularly September and part of October, Zahn does anticipate a dent in delivery figures. “However, we are still convinced that this can be offset by the end of the year. That means that we are expecting an extremely high amount of deliveries for November and December.”