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“The relationship between car dealers and car manufacturers recorded an average score of 6.9 – 0.2 points lower than the summer 2014 survey, suggesting a slight change in the relationship – a trend also shown in the last survey”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association commenting on the NFDA Winter 2015 Dealer Attitude Survey.
This year’s winter survey received a response rate of 38% of car dealers from 28 participating dealer networks taking part, and is the second survey undertaken using the revised question format. The new survey has a standardised question format and all responses are on a scale of 1 to 10. This has made it easier for dealers to complete and makes it easier for us to analyse. We have found that the new format has led to an increase in survey responses.
Robinson continued, “It was positive to see that Mercedes, Kia and Suzuki were the top scoring franchises in the all important question 11 where dealers rate their manufacturers overall. Both Mercedes and Kia were in the top three in the summer survey but Suzuki has moved up from fifth place to third, even though its score remains static. Land Rover has fallen out of the top three and now resides in fifth place.
“Renault continued to increase its score in question 11 building on improvements started last summer. Their dealer network returned an encouraging score of 7.0. A year ago they were at the bottom of the table with a score of 4.0. Their results in many of the survey questions were also poor in particular around profit potential, standards and dealer/manufacturer relationships. This has significantly changed in the current survey. Volvo and Honda have also seen improved scores, although these scores are still fairly neutral they are encouraging and are backed up by improvements in questions across the survey.”
The survey which has been published today shows an average recorded score of 6.5 in the overall value of the franchise.
Dealers returned an average score of 4.9 when asked how satisfied they were with their new car targeting process. This score 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 2015 survey was 6.5.
Robinson concluded, “With the declines in scores for certain key questions, there is still scope with certain manufacturers to develop their relationships with their dealer networks as some still fall well below average in many areas of the survey.”