Blog: Can’t see the wood for the trees

  05 March 2018 - 7:28am |    Tristan Young

mpg testing

If today’s lead story proves anything, it’s that legislative measures are causing an unparalleled degree of meddling at manufacturer level. You have to feel for them; it’s been said before, but never has there been a time that so many different forces, be they regulatory or a result of customer demand, have woven such a complicated web for national sales companies.

Regardless of whether or not it’s actually appropriate for a customer, diesel’s reputation is still on its uppers, and WLTP could be potentially ruinous for plug-in hybrids’ official emissions and economy figures. That leaves you with petrol and battery-electric; the latter just won’t do the trick for everyone in its current state, while the SMMT last week accused the increase in petrol car sales of contributing to increasing CO2 levels. Which leaves manufacturers where, exactly?

As hard as all this is for those fabricating the vehicles, it’s arguably even more difficult when you’re selling them to the general public. The upshot of such a conundrum is that retailers have to be at the knife-edge of their game if they’re to be considered authoritative and credible sellers.

WLTP, for example, has additional ramifications for optional extras. The test is applied to an entry-level vehicle, and calculations are made about the impact of extra equipment based on its weight and potential impact on fuel economy/emissions. Clearly, that has the potential to make options a harder sell, but, come September, your staff is going to have to explain it to anyone who walks into a showroom.

Jack Carfrae

Acting editor

Auto Retail Agenda

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