“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.
- The score is down 0.1 points since the summer 2014 survey and down 0.7 points since last winter.
- Mercedes, Kia Suzuki and Audi were recorded as the top 4 franchises.
- The least valued franchises by respondents are Skoda, Seat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo.
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.
- Only four franchises returned a score of 7.0 and above, indicating a significant level with satisfaction in these brands. Suzuki was the top scoring franchise with a score of 8.0, Land Rover was second at 7.9, Mercedes third with 7.6 and Kia fourth with a score of 7.2.
- With a score of 2.7 Skoda have the lowest score 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 6.0 was recorded. This score is down just 0.1 point since last summer, although it is 0.6 points lower than last winter.
- When asked about the future profitability of their business the all dealer average declined 6.5 to 6.3.
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.
- This score was down 0.2 points from the summer survey and 0.1 points since last winter. As an average, the responses have changed little over the past year.
- Volvo has seen the most improvement in score for this question scoring 6.0 up 1.3 from the summer.
- Citroen had the greatest decline in score down 1.8 from the summer to 4.8.
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.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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.