Dear Colleague

2018 proved challenging and our industry demonstrated once again its resilience and flexibility - despite the decline in new car sales the used car sector was very strong.

NFDA has continued to lobby and represent the industry in a number of different areas. 2018 saw the development of a number of new initiatives - the development of Drive My Career and our recently launched Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme.

Government and Stakeholder Meetings

Throughout 2018, NFDA has met on a regular basis with MPs, Ministers and key Government bodies including Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), HM Treasury, Department for Transport (DfT), Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). I have also met with NFDA’s international counterparts to discuss common challenges and the issues facing the automotive retailers outside the UK. These include the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs (ZDK), the US National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) and the South African RMI.

Parliamentary Engagement Programme

A number of MP visits to NFDA members’ dealerships took place over the year as we continued to raise awareness of the retail sector of the automotive industry through our NFDA Parliamentary Engagement Programme. Please email louise.woods@rmif.co.uk if you would like to host your local MP.

Drive My Career

To address our members’ concerns that the majority of young people tend not to consider automotive retail as an option for their future, NFDA developed Drive My Career in February 2018. This was a new, industry-first initiative which highlights to young people the exciting and rewarding career opportunities that the retail automotive industry offers. During the first year of operation the website saw a huge increase in traffic with very high engagement levels across social media. Visit www.drivemycareer.co.uk to find out more about it or email info@drivemycareer.co.uk.

Surveys and Reports

At the beginning of 2018, we released various publications to help retailers clarify the confusion surrounding emissions and ensure consumers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision when buying a car.

March and April saw the publication of our NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS) and NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey (CAS) respectively. KIA topped the DAS with the best average score across all questions while the CAS revealed very high levels of consumer satisfaction in the aftersales sector. The most recent September issue of the Dealer Attitude Survey showed that Kia continued to be the top performer, while Mitsubishi was the most improved manufacturer. NFDA members should have now received the Dealer Attitude Survey winter 2018/2019 for completion, please email louise.woods@rmif.co.uk for more information.

2018 also saw the publication of the first NFDA Electric Vehicle Dealer Attitude Survey. Only the top 11 manufacturers who had a response rate of at least 20% were included in the survey. Toyota had the highest overall average score across all questions. Going forward, we will continue to run the EV DAS in conjunction with the usual Dealer Attitude Survey and we expect response rate and retailers’ participation to grow as EVs become more popular.

WLTP

In the Summer, ahead of the introduction of WLTP, we held a workshop on the issue. The event was attended by retailers, manufacturers and the Low Carbon Vehicle Project, and provided an ideal platform to discuss the implications of this new testing procedure. Despite the disruption caused in the last quarter of the year, the effects of WLTP are likely to diminish going forward. In 2019, these new figures can be turned into an opportunity to provide consumers with clear information about the most fuel efficient and compliant vehicles on the market.

Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA)

In November, NFDA launched the pilot phase of Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA): a set of standards for retail and aftersales endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST). EVA is a kitemark which certifies retailers’ excellence in EV retail. The EVA status is awarded to individual dealership locations and not to dealer groups. Once a dealer group decides which site(s) they wish to be EVA members, NFDA will arrange for an audit to occur at these locations. The audit is performed by the Energy Saving Trust. The scheme is open to all retailers ahead of the official launch in 2019. We will continue to update you on this.

Plug-In Vehicle Guide

In December, NFDA released a Plug-In Vehicle Guide produced in association with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, the Energy Saving Trust and Zap-Map. The guide aims to help you inform your customers about the implications and benefits of owning a plug-in electric vehicle. To request your copy, please email louise.woods@rmif.co.uk.

This year, we will continue to develop the projects launched in 2018 and support you with regular studies, reports and guidance documents. Equally, we will be engaging with relevant government, media and other key stakeholders to ensure that the importance of automotive retail continues to be recognised.

Our members’ input is vital to set the direction of our work - I encourage you to attend our 2019 regional meetings whose dates and venues are available on our website at https://www.nfda-uk.co.uk/press-room/events. You will also find more information about the upcoming Driving Digital 2019 and NFDA Spring Ball.

Finally, I would like to thank you once again for the commitment and support to your trade body, the NFDA, to continue to best represent the interests of our sector.

Wishing you a very prosperous 2019.

Sue Robinson

Director, NFDA

Sue.robinson@rmif.co.uk

Tel: 0207 580 9122

Mob: 07774 107763