Has Mercedes underestimated the timing for emission ruling changes?
In the whole of the Benelux numerous Mercedes buyers are waiting for their Mercedes to be finally delivered. The cars are there, the right homologation papers aren’t.
On the first of September, last year the new European emission rules were installed, WLTP (for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) replaced NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). Actually we’re in a transition period but on the 1st of September 2018 all new cars have to respond to the new WLTP rules.
Not so prescient
Apparently Mercedes has not been prescient enough and sees itself confronted with clients who have to wait for days, weeks or even months, while their new car is already on the premises of their dealer.
“All our models have to pass new tests to be conform the new WLTP rules. That takes time because the new tests have to be performed by an independent organism. That’s the reason why certain car types are blocked until we get the right homologation papers. When we have them, the vehicles concerned are released, so the situation changes daily”, says Mercedes Benelux spokeswoman, Helen Vannuffelen.
“In the meantime, we offer different mobility solutions to our clients”, Vannuffelen adds, “and of course we will also pay for the possible financial costs. More than 100 vehicles are concerned and we deliver adapted solutions to each situation, going from extending an existing contract to providing another car for the transition period.”
Also in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands Mercedes seems to have the same problems, especially with diesel cars, but the explanation is different. A German spokesman for Mercedes, Johannes Liefert, has declared to the newspaper, De Telegraaf, “that the stop in deliveries has to do with the recall of diesel cars agreed with the German Ministry of transport and the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt”.
Dealers in the Netherlands refuse to comment on the situation, claiming that this has been forbidden by the importer. Mercedes refuses to give comments on individual cases but claims to find a solution for every single customer concerned.
And the others?
Apparently there are no delays in deliveries at other German brands. The Belgian BMW importer has met some difficulties earlier on but since the beginning of July deliveries are running smoothly. “We were very early to do some changes to the vehicles (Adblue system for diesels, particulate filter for petrol cars), that’s why we have no problems anymore at the time”, declares a Belgian BMW spokesman.
At Audi they’ve worked the other way around and invested a lot of publicity to clear up stocks of ‘old’ cars. “At Audi we’ve done our utmost best to deliver a maximum of cars before the 1st of September. That’s why we have the opposite effect, clients expecting their cars in November, already receive them now”, has declared a sales representative of the brand in Belgium.