BearingPoint study analyzes the communication of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by car manufacturers from the customer’s perspective

Frankfurt, August 23, 2018 – The WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) is intended to present comprehensive emissions and fuel consumption values for comparability between different options and car models. The increased transparency will enable customers to make better purchasing decisions regarding taxes and the environmental impact. A new market study by management and technology consultancy BearingPoint has analyzed the impact this change has and will have on automakers' customer communication – especially online car configurators.

Matthias Loebich

With WLTP, it is possible to show the effects that individual configurations such as the weight, aerodynamics or rolling resistance of a vehicle have on exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. Online car configurators websites are probably the most important way to provide information to existing and potential new customers that show that the automaker is open in communicating CO2 and consumption information. On top of this, by displaying environmental impact data, automakers also show that they are concerned with the environmental impact of their products, regardless of the CO2 taxes that are becoming a standard in many markets.

Matthias Loebich, Global Head of Automotive at BearingPoint

All brands have started to create transparency regarding WLTP

In July 2017, the EU decided to implement WLTP. As early as September 2018, for all new passenger cars sold and registered in Europe CO2 emissions and consumption should be determined in accordance with WLTP. From January 2019, the EU recommends that car manufacturers completely change their customer communication. From January 2020, the new method will completely replace the old NEDC test cycle. BearingPoint's investigation was carried out during the current transition period.

The study shows that all the 19 analyzed brands provide at least in one of the surveyed markets a dedicated section of the website to information aimed at explaining to their customers the changes introduced by WLTP. Ten brands have adapted the online configurator to change CO2 and consumption values when different wheels and tires are selected. This means that they are ready to support WLTP computation. Eleven brands display ranges for emissions and consumption at the start of the online configuration and thus inform which configurations generally cause more or less emissions. When completing the vehicle configuration, the trend is towards single value display for specific models, which means that most brands turn the initial range for emissions and consumption into single values for the specific vehicle at the end. Displaying the energy efficiency classes at the end of the calculation has not yet been implemented by any of the brands throughout the EU. In Germany, on the other hand, the implementation rate is almost 100%, as this has been a legal requirement in Germany since December 1, 2011.

Matthias Loebich

The study results still reveal significant differences in WLTP communication. However, they also show that all brands have already begun to create transparency regarding WLTP and basically support the WLTP calculation. At the time of our study, of the brands analyzed, Audi and BMW were the most advanced in customer communication, as they had already adapted their online configurators to the introduction of WLTP in almost all surveyed markets. In the course of WLTP, manufacturers are currently confronted with many different topics, such as product configuration and pricing, with the consequence that customer communication does not always has the highest priority. However, information to customers on WLTP is key, and automakers cannot escape implementing it.

Matthias Loebich, Global Head of Automotive at BearingPoint

About the study

As part of the study conducted by BearingPoint from March to May 2018, the online vehicle configurators of eight premium and eleven volume brands in 14 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) were analyzed. The focus was on the degree of development of WLTP in online configurators of automobile manufacturers.

About BearingPoint

BearingPoint is an independent management and technology consultancy with European roots and a global reach. The company operates in three units: Consulting, Solutions and Ventures. Consulting covers the advisory business; Solutions provides the tools for successful digital transformation, regulatory technology and advanced analytics; Ventures drives the financing and development of start-ups. BearingPoint’s clients include many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. The firm has a global consulting network with more than 10,000 people and supports clients in over 75 countries, engaging with them to achieve measurable and sustainable success.

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Global Senior Manager Communications
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WLTP – degree of implementation at automakers in Europe

WLTP – degree of implementation at automakers in Europe

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