Vehicle dealers are still seeing profits and margins fall as manufacturer control and the unstable economy continue to have an adverse effect on their businesses, according to the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey Winter 2011/2012 results. This latest survey saw a record number of respondents with a 31% return rate across all networks. The NFDA Winter 2011-2012 Dealer Attitude Survey, published today (Monday 5 March 2012), shows that the trend towards lower profits and profitability, highlighted in the Summer 2011 Dealer Attitude Survey, continues:

  • When questioned about how satisfied they were with the profit return by representing their franchise, 65% of networks reduced their rating since the last survey.
  • When asked about the future profitability of their business, 62% of networks reduced their rating.
  • When asked about manufacturers standards in comparison to return on investment, 52% of dealers dropped their rating.

However, dealers are still expressing concern about the relationship they have with their manufacturer, although a few networks showed some improvement in this respect:

  • When rating the partnership they have with their manufacturer, 45% of networks improved their score.
  • However a 52% majority still scored below the average mark.

A decline in the overall value of the franchise was also recorded:

  • When asked about the overall value of the franchise the all dealer average fell from 6.7 to 6.5
  • BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Lexus and Mini were recorded as the top 5 franchises
  • The lease valued franchises by respondents are Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Subaru and Renault.

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, commented: ‘2011 saw a very challenging environment for franchised dealers. It is of no surprise that dealers have indicated that their profit returns were not satisfactory at a time when vehicle sales were depressed and margins under pressure as they chased targets. ‘2012 appears to have begun reasonably well with some signs that the market may make a small recovery. The March market will be key for dealers as this is largest market of the year.’ ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS A PDF of the NFDA Winter 2011-2012 Dealer Attitude Survey should be attached to this email. If the attachment does not arrive please contact the RMI Press Office, and a copy will be sent to you.