British luxury carmaker Bentley has been hit by new European emissions standards that have cost them millions of euros.
Bentley is an automotive manufacturer that hasn’t historically concerned itself with fuel efficiency. After all, when your only clientele can afford a car that costs as much as some houses, then what’s a little extra few bucks spent on gas?
But the times, they are a changin', as the song says. Ever increasing European regulations requires that carmakers create more fuel efficient vehicles that make less pollution in an effort to save the species from an impending climate apocalypse. This means that even luxury carmakers need to worry about how many CO2s their cars produce.
Europe recently adopted the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) to get a better handle on just how many pollutants a car produces. But as this new testing protocol is introduced, all the previously tested models must be retested to see how well (or poorly) they fair under the new rules.
And Bentley might have dropped the ball on getting their cars retested, which has apparently cost them a ton of money.
"We were not quick enough unfortunately to book capacity or prioritize our derivatives within some of the group processes to get them certified on time," Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Automotive News Europe. This means that Bentley was forced to delay the introduction of new models, and even hold off selling current models until emissions testing could be completed.
Hallmark reports that the delay probably cost the company 300 to 400 units in sales, resulting in a loss of 137 million euros for the first 9 months of the year. In addition to the lost sales, Bentley was also forced to delay the introduction of the plug-in hybrid version of their popular Bentayga SUV and also delay the sale of their new Continental GT Coupe.
Bentley isn’t the only car company struggling to get every one of their vehicle variants tested, but they do seem to be the hardest hit by the delays. A single lost sale for Toyota is meaningless, but a single unsold Bentley that costs ten times as much can really start to affect a luxury carmaker's bottom line.
Hallmark says to expect Bentley to return to profit either next year or the 4th fiscal quarter of this year.