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The relationship between car dealers and car manufacturers recorded an average score of 6.1 – 0.1 points lower than the summer 2015 survey. This is the lowest score recorded in the past 8 surveys, suggesting that a number of dealer networks are slightly less satisfied with their relationship with their manufacturer. ”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association commenting on the NFDA Winter 2016 Dealer Attitude Survey, published this week.
This year’s NFDA Winter 2016 Dealer Attitude Survey had 1603 respondents from a participating dealer network of 4065. This represented a 39% response rate – one of the highest the survey has seen. The response rate is comparable with the winter 2015 survey but up 2% on last summer’s survey. There were 28 franchised networks in the survey which represents dealers across the UK.
Robinson continued, “Of particular concern are the results for questions that involve new car targets and pressure to register vehicles. Answers to these questions showed that even in an extremely strong UK car market, some manufacturers are still pushing registration growth at the expense of dealer margin.”
The survey shows a slight decline in dealer satisfaction with their manufacturers on the all-important question about the overall value of the franchise.
Dealers returned an average score of 4.8 when asked how satisfied they were with their new car targeting process. Although the score was up 0.1 on the last survey, it still indicated that in general dealers were dissatisfied with the targeting process with their manufacturers.
Profit and profitability ratings also saw a decline. The results suggest that dealers are less optimistic about future profit returns than they were previously.
When dealers were asked ‘how satisfied are you that your manufacturer dealer standards are fair and reasonable’, the average score for the winter 2016 survey was 6.1.
Robinson concluded, “There are a number of franchises that appear to have scored above average for most questions, and appear to have maintained a strong relationship with their dealer networks. These include top scoring brands Mercedes, Lexus and Suzuki – who out-performed most brands in the all-important questions.”