Austria 2018. WLTP regulation drags sales down 3.3%

Austrian Car Sales

Austrian Car Sales in 2018 fell down 3.3% interrupting the previous years growth, ending the year with 341.832 units sold, largely affected by the WLTP introduction. Volkswagen – down 2.9% – led the market, ahead of Skoda and Ford.

Economic Environment

In the third quarter the wind blew slightly less strongly in the sails of the Austrian economy than previously estimated. A second reading of national accounts data showed that the economy expanded at the same pace as in Q2 and matched the EU28 average. Growth in the economy was underpinned by both domestic demand and the external sector.

Domestic demand benefited from strong private consumption and fixed investment growth—although troubles in the automotive sector relating to the new emission regulations slightly dragged on household consumption—while the external sector was supported by robust foreign demand and a moderation in import growth. Meanwhile, data from the fourth quarter has been largely solid so far.

Economic growth should remain robust in 2019, although the pace of expansion is expected to moderate. Public and private consumption are likely to buttress the domestic economy, with households benefiting from a tight labor market and higher wages. On the other hand, labor shortages could limit economic growth and lingering global trade tensions pose a further downside risk.

Market Trend

Austrian vehicles market is resilient to crisis and mature and in recent years has shown one of the most stable trend in Europe. In the 2017, according to data released by the local Association of Car Manufacturers, car passenger’s sales have been 353.596 (+7.3%) the best this decade.

In the 2018 the car passenger’s segment is moderately negative. Indeed, the market fell 3.3%, ending the year with 341.832 units. Thus, this years sales have interrupted the positive growth of recent years, being largely affected by WLTP introduction, that in September dragged sales down 41.9%, leading to a negative tone during the following months.

Competitive Arena

At brand-wise, Volkswagen is on top of the 2018 ranking with 57.038 sales – down 2.9% – keeping a 15.1% of market share.

In second place Skoda with 25.485 units (+2.2%) followed by Ford with 19.954 units (-3.9%), Opel with 19.188 units (-9.6%), Seat with 18.747 (+7.2%) and Hyundai with 18.631 (-6.4%).

In seventh place BMW with 18.608 (-1.7%) followed by Renault with 18.588 (-6.9%), Mercedes with 16.433 (-8.4%) and in 10th place Fiat with 14.751 (-5%).

Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)

The European Union has therefore developed a new test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

The WLTP driving cycle is a test defined by the European Union defining new standard for vehicles with focus on CO2 emission and fuel consumptions. The test is divided into four parts with different average speeds: low, medium, high and extra high. Each part contains a variety of driving phases, stops, acceleration and braking phases.

For a certain car type, each powertrain configuration is tested with WLTP for the car’s lightest (most economical) and heaviest (least economical) version. WLTP was developed with the aim of being used as a global test cycle across different world regions, so pollutant and CO2 emissions as well as fuel consumption values would be comparable worldwide. However, while the WLTP has a common global ‘core’, the European Union and other regions will apply the test in different ways depending on their road traffic laws and needs.

WLTP will apply to all new car registrations from September 2018 when vehicles below the minimum index would not be registered within the European Union territory.

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for all Brands and top 10 Models.

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