“The relationship between car dealers and car manufacturers recorded an average score of 6.2 - 0.3 points lower than the winter 2015 survey, 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 Summer 2015 Dealer Attitude Survey, published today.
This year’s NFDA Summer 2015 survey had 1573 responses from a total participating dealer network of 4270 which equates to 37% response rate. This is a significant response rate which gives a good representative picture of the dealer/manufacturer relationship in the UK. The number of responses was marginally higher than in the winter, where we received 1554 completed surveys. There were 28 franchise networks in the survey which represent dealers from across the UK.
Robinson continued, “Of particular concern are the results for questions that involve profitability, targets and pressure to register vehicles. Answers to these questions showed that even in a strong market, some manufacturers are still pushing registration growth at the expense of dealer margin.”
The survey shows a decline in dealer satisfaction with their manufacturers on the all-important question about the overall value of the franchise.
- The score is down 0.3 points since the winter 2015 survey and down 0.4 points since last summer.
- Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Kia were recorded as the top 4 franchises.
- The least valued franchises by respondents are Skoda, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen and Jaguar.
Dealers returned an average score of 4.7 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.
- Only three franchises returned a score of 8.0 and above, indicating a significant satisfaction level in these brands. Mercedes was the top scoring franchise with a score of 8.6 and both Land Rover and Lexus with scores of 8.0.
- With a score of 2.7 both Volkswagen and Skoda had the lowest scores for this question.
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 rating the profit return by representing their franchise, an average score of 5.6 was recorded. This score is down 0.4 point since the winter survey, and 0.5 points lower than last summer.
- When asked about the future profitability of their business the all dealer average declined from 6.3 to 6.0.
When dealers were asked ‘how satisfied are you that your manufacturer dealer standards are fair and reasonable’, the average score for the summer 2015 survey was 6.4.
- This score was down 0.1 points from the winter survey and 0.3 points since last summer. The score would suggest that overall dealers are fairly neutral about their manufacturer standards.
- Once again Mercedes received the highest score at 8.9, and BMW has seen the most improvement in score for this question scoring 8.6 - up 1.3 from the winter.
- Volkswagen had the greatest decline in score down 1.6 from the winter survey to 5.2.
Robinson concluded, “On a more positive note, 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 BMW, Lexus and Kia, and in particular Mercedes, who out-performed most brands in the all-important questions.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The NFDA Summer 2015 Renault Survey results erroneously included responses from Renault Authorised Repairers who have unfortunately completed unrelated questions. This has potentially impacted some of the Survey results for this brand and therefore impacts the NFDA’s ability to accurately report on the Summer 2015 results for Renault.
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.