VW Group CEO Diess

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess

Germany - Volkswagen must plan for temporary production closures at the main plant in Wolfsburg to allow a changeover to new laboratory test cycles on fuel consumption and emissions from passenger cars.

The Group CEO Herbert Diess announced the expected disruption at a works meeting, and added: “Within the Volkswagen brand alone, we need to test more than 200 model variants and have them type-approved within a very short space of time.”

The meeting heard that the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) test procedure was more complex and would take much longer than was the case under the previous NEDC process. Volume of testing work would be three or four times greater.

From September 2018, all new cars must be certified according to the WLTP test procedure. It replaces the NEDC test which had been in force since in the 1980s.

Diess said that he expected production interruptions at Wolfsburg in the period between the works holidays and the end of September. The distribution of closure days would be discussed with the Works Council in the coming days.

Works Council chairman Bernd Osterloh stressed that the effects of disruption should not be imposed on the employees concerned. “It is not the fault of our colleagues that the company has built too few test rigs over the years and can suddenly not handle the test volume required. We will not allow this burden to be borne by the workforce alone at the end of the day. Our colleagues in production are not responsible for this situation.”