U.S. dealers awaiting Volkswagen's new flagship sedan will have to wait longer than expected.
The Arteon — which was to take the place of the now-ended CC sedan in the automaker's lineup in the third quarter — won't arrive in showrooms until "early 2019," the company said last week.
A Volkswagen spokesman told Automotive News that the issue "is because of delays in the certification process caused by a backlog in meeting [new] WLTP worldwide emissions testing." The European Union's WLTP stands for the Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure.
Word of the delay came when VW canceled a drive event scheduled for next month in California.
Because so many of its test benches have been fully utilized for years now as part of ongoing attempts to resolve its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen has struggled to certify its entire group portfolio under the new WLTP cycle that took effect in September, which requires extensive testing, including tests on each CO2-relevant equipment options such as heavy panorama sunroofs. Even many parts of its bread-and-butter model, the Golf, are still waiting for their European homologation.
The Arteon, based on Volkswagen's global MQB platform, has been on sale in Germany since 2017. It is more than 5 inches longer than the CC. Volkswagen has said it will have a 268-hp 2.0-liter inline-four engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, making up to 258 pound-feet of torque, in the U.S.
It's unclear how many sales Volkswagen will miss because of the delay. Industrywide in the U.S., through August, car sales have fallen 12 percent in 2018 as light trucks dominate the market; the midsize sedan segment was down 16 percent.
U.S. Volkswagen CC sales peaked in May 2011: 3,979 units. CC sales last topped more than 1,000 in a month in June 2014.
Christiaan Hetzner contributed to this report.