Spain’s vehicle production drops due to impact of WLTP emissions protocol

Spain’s vehicle production fell by 23 percent in September after the introduction of the WLTP and RDE CO2 emissions protocols

Spain’s vehicle production fell by 23 percent in September after the introduction of the WLTP and RDE CO2 emissions protocols. In the meantime, the country’s automobile exports have also dropped by 23.7 percent.

According to a report prepared by ANFAC, 199,753 units were manufactured in September, a sharp drop that Spanish factories had not seen in September since 2013.

However, vehicle production saw a positive growth during the first nine months of the year – 1,169,851 units – with the volume of automobiles increasing by 1.7 percent from the same period in 2017.

A press release issued by the Spanish Association of Car and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC) detailed a general decrease in vehicle production, except in the case of industrial and heavy vehicles, which production has grown by 26.6 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The production fall seen in cars for tourism activities, SUVs, light commercial vehicles, and vans stems from the impact of the new WLTP and RDE CO2 emissions protocols. Sources in the sector state that this measure has had a double negative impact on the industry in September.

On one side, the requirement to homologate vehicles under this new regulation has resulted in significant delays in supply chains at the different production facilities; and on the other, there was a general rise in demand during the summer across Europe.

Spain’s vehicle production decreased for almost all types of cars

The sharpest drop was recorded in the production of passenger vehicles, with 153,245 units; down by 23.8 percent from last year. 1,705,606 cars were manufactured in Spain during the first nine months of 2018, up by 1.5 percent from the same period in 2017. For its part, production of SUVs stood at 3,942 units, 15 percent fall, amounting to 38,713 units so far this year.

With regards to industrial and commercial vehicle production, despite the fact that the light and heavy vehicle segments saw an overall growth; total manufacturing decreased by 20.8 percent from September 2017, with 42,566 units. Production of these vehicles already increased by 1.5 percent and recorded 425,535 units assembled during the first nine months of the year.

Exports drop dramatically

Vehicle exports stood at 161,621 units in September, down by 23.7 percent from the same month in 2017. A total of 132,974 passenger cars were shipped abroad, 20.89 percent less than last year. For their part, commercial and industrial car exports stood at 24,852 units, which is a significant decrease by 37 percent from last year.

During the first nine months of the year, Spain exported 1,770,388 vehicles (+ 2.2 percent); 1,438,644 of said units were passenger cars (rising by 3.2 percent), while 294,484 were commercial and industrial units, which decreased by 3.6 percent from the first nine months of 2017.

The production shortfalls in Spain’s automobile industry caused a drop in vehicle exports that mainly originated from a fall in car registrations in the EU; down by 23.5 percent since the introduction of the WLTP protocol.

Specifically, the drop in exports recorded the following results: exports to Germany were down by 30.5 percent; Italy (-25.4 percent); UK (-20.5 percent) and France (-12.8 percent). Additionally, turbulence in the Turkish market caused by an internal crisis made vehicle registrations in the country fall by 67.1 percent.

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