“Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the automotive retail industry, it is optimistic to see our survey has revealed only marginal differences in manufacturer ratings. Franchised dealers show high levels of satisfaction in key business areas, particularly in used car margins and performance measures”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the results of the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey Summer 2022 published today, Monday 12 September 2022.

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has conducted the Dealer Attitude Survey twice a year since 1989.

For this edition of the survey, in September 2022 franchised dealers were asked a series of questions covering business issues affecting the relationship with their respective manufacturers. Responses were scored from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied).

The survey attracted an impressive response rate of 66%, with a total of 2,561 responses from 32 Manufacturers.

Similar to the last edition six months ago, the highest returning average score of the survey (7.4 out of 10) was dealers’ satisfaction levels with their return on investments for used cars, as demand for second-hand vehicles maintains to be strong.

Improvements in average scores can be seen in three key business areas. Targets, day-to-day working relationships, and standards and performance. The DAS recorded an improved relationship with the manufacturers' management team taking on dealers’ views and opinions at 6.2 out of 10, a 0.2 increase. Performance measures set by manufacturers being fair and reasonable increased by 0.1. and dealers’ satisfaction levels with their ability to work with their manufacturer on a day-to-day basis received 6.7 out of 10, similar to the previous survey 6 months ago.

The all-important question ‘how would you rate your manufacturer overall on a scale of 1 to 10?’ returned an average of 6.5, on par with six months ago. Lexus (9.4), Mercedes (9), and Kia (9) were the top performers whilst Fiat (3.4), Abarth (3.9), and Alfa Romeo (4.1) received the lowest ratings.

An analysis of the ‘overall average score’ across all questions of the survey (6.4) put Lexus at the top with 9.2 points out of 10, followed by Mercedes (8.4) and Kia (8.4). The bottom of the table saw Fiat (3.7), Abarth (4.4), and Alfa Romeo (4.7).

Sue Robinson added: “The Dealer Attitude Survey is a staple benchmark report for the industry, presenting a multifaceted and comprehensive overview of the automotive retail sector, revealing a better understanding as to the relationships between manufacturers and their franchised dealership networks.

“OEMs and retailers continue to operate efficiently under increasingly difficult situations and demanding environments, with semi-conductor shortages and international conflicts as primary contributors to supply issues. The Dealer Attitude Survey explores this business relationship and marks significant improvements across a number of franchise networks from six months ago.

“The NFDA is pleased with a response rate of 66%, just 1% lower than the last edition’s record response, and is evidence that the DAS remains as a crucial barometer for the UK automotive industry. It is essential that manufacturers and dealers work in a mutually beneficial way that adheres to consumers' needs and explores how they can improve business areas which have received below average scores.”