At Volkswagen's Group Works Council Meet held at the main plant in Wolfsburg, Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group announced that closure days in production at the Wolfsburg plant would have to be planned after the works holidays as a result of the changeover to the WLTP test cycle. The WLTP or the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure will go into effect starting September 1. The WLTP will require Volkswagen to test more than 200 model variants and have them type-approved before September 1.
Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management, VW Group said, "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."
He added, "To master this challenge, our test rigs have been and will be operated virtually round-the-clock."
With respect to Wolfsburg, Diess said, "After the works holidays in Wolfsburg, we will only be making vehicles that meet the new standards. Vehicles will be delivered step-by-step as soon as the type approvals required are available. Nevertheless, we will need to store a large number of vehicles on an interim basis. To ensure that this number does not become too large, we will need to plan closure days for production in Wolfsburg during the period between the works holidays and the end of September."
The Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh said that the effects of program reductions could not simply 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."
The Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) is a global harmonized standard for determining the levels of pollutants and CO2 emissions, fuel or energy consumption, and electric range from light-duty vehicles. The European Union (EU) has developed the WLTP to replace the current NEDC test procedure for establishing the official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars.