There is no doubt the introduction of the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is having a significant impact on the fleet industry.
And, as the emissions data feeds its way into the market from manufacturers, it is also clear fleet managers will need to look again at the mix of vehicles on company vehicle lists.
The new testing regime come at a time of changing customer preference, new environmental legislation and shifting taxation regimes.
The industry has faced some sensational headlines in recent months, with predictions of many fleet drivers being priced out of vehicles. The real picture is more nuanced.
The EU says the move to WLTP should not negatively impact vehicle taxation by increasing costs for the consumers.
The test is designed to give consumers more accurate data to enable them to make informed choices. After all, the vehicle’s performance is not affected by the move to WLTP.
WLTP is likely to result in higher CO2 values for many vehicles, because it is more rigorous and the financial impact to the customer comes from VED and BIK levies.
The industry is working hard to address the need for a fair tax regime and resolve the lack of clarity around BIK from 2020/21.
Some interesting emerging trends will shape fleet mix.
Manufacturers appear to be shifting to option packs to simplify things under WLTP and, potentially, help upsell the customer, as they will be faced with buying premium packs for the more desirable items.
We may also see some of the poorer performing models and engine options delisted to support emissions scores.
Fleet managers will have to navigate these changes while meeting operational requirements and customer preferences. Having correct data to hand is essential.
Fleets can’t rest on their laurels because changes will still need to be made to tools such as comparators, configurators and other systems they have when the WLTP content needs to be displayed.
The impact optional extras will have on the CO2 figure will need to be detailed as this will affect tax and cost of the vehicle – information company car users will need to know.
By Andrew Mee senior forecasting editor at Cap HPI