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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    A Number of PHEVs Are Pulled From Sales in Europe

      WTLP Strikes Again (cue dramatic music)

    The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) has been giving automakers in Europe various headaches. As we reported last week, Volkswagen has pushed back the U.S. launch of the Arteon to help boost inventory in Europe due to a delay in WLTP testing. Other automakers aren't so lucky.

    According to Automotive News Europe, a number German automakers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche have halted sales of some plug-in hybrids due to WLTP. In the new procedure, the way that PHEVs are tested reduces the effect of the fully-charged battery.

    "The vehicles are tested with a full battery, then the test is repeated until the battery is empty, when they are tested again," according to ANE.

    Germany's VDA on their website goes on to say that "the CO2 value is then calculated as the ratio of the electrical range to the total range."

    This in turn has pushed the "crucial CO2 emissions figure above 50 grams per kilometer". Why is it so crucial? Many European countries off tax benefits on vehicles that produce less than 50g/km of CO2.

     Matthias Schmidt, an analyst for Sweden's AID automotive research company tells ANE that in Germany, many PHEVs have lost their 3,000-euro (about $3,500) incentive. To qualify again, automakers will need to fit larger batteries to their vehicles to qualify for the incentives. Automakers now find themselves in a tough place deciding whether to bite the bullet and add the larger battery or pull PHEVs off the market for the time being.

    Here is the status of the various German automakers:

    • BMW: Says its current lineup will meet WLTP, but ANE notes that certain models exceed the 50g/km of CO2 - example is the 225xe Active Tourer that produces 57 g/km. The 330e, the brand's second best-selling PHEV will not go back on sale until the next-generation model arrives next summer.
    • Mercedes-Benz: Has no PHEVs on sale at the moment, but a spokesman said that the E-Class and S-Class PHEVs will go on sale within the next two months.
    • Porsche: Has pulled sales of the Cayenne and Panamera PHEVs. "We will not start taking orders again until the cars are being built, the timing of which has not yet been confirmed," said a spokesman.
    • Volkswagen: Stopped sales of the Golf and Passat GTE, both models appear in the top ten best selling PHEVs in Europe. A spokesman said both models would return next year with the introduction of updated models.

    Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) 



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    Makes sense considering Dieselgate and the mess that has cost the German brands. Build it better and to code and you win.

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      The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid comes standard with bold 20-inch alloy wheels with black machined finish for ST-Line models and tarnished dark machined finish for Platinum models.
      ST-Line models feature a gloss black finish one-piece grille, and high gloss black for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also features red accent stitching for seats, floor mats and sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as carbon fibre-effect appliques for the instrument panel.
      Platinum models feature a satin finish one-piece grille, and satin finish for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also adds real wood appliques for the instrument panel.
      “Massive charisma and unprecedented road presence come as standard with our all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid,” Matthias Tonn said. “With distinctive ST-Line and Platinum variants available, customers can find the right option to suit their personality.”
      # # #

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Infiniti announced today that they will exit the Western European market to concentrate on their growth areas in North America and China.  The company stated that regulatory challenges and competition from other premium priced cars were the main factors in its decision. There are 55 Infiniti dealerships in Western Europe.
      As part of the move, Infiniti is canceling the Q30 sedan and QX30 crossover which is sold in the US.  Both vehicles are built in the UK at Nissan's Sunderland plant. Nissan recently announced they will not be building their X-Trail SUV in the UK. Nissan is also rumored to be cutting Leaf and Qashqai production at the Sunderland plant. This follows recent moves by Honda and potentially BMW to end automobile production in the UK in fear of a no-deal Brexit. 
      In January, Infiniti's President Christian Meunier admitted the QX30 was a flop, but said that the model would continue on an all-Infiniti platform.  The exit from Europe now puts those plans into question. 
      Infiniti will remain in Eastern Europe, North America, and China and will electrify most of its products by 2021.
      Related:
      Honda Confirms Swindon Closure
      Nissan and BMW Could Pull Production from UK
      LA Auto Show: Infiniti QX30

      View full article
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