Dealers and manufacturers relationship improves
The relationship between dealers and manufacturers improved over the winter.
This is according to the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Dealer Attitude Survey.
'It is positive to see that, despite a number of challenges, the average dealers' satisfaction with the relationship with their manufacturers continues to rise,' said Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK.
The NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey is carried out on a biannual basis to monitor the health of the relationship between dealers and their respective manufacturers.
The winter 2018/2019 edition of the survey was conducted in January 2019. Dealers answered a series of questions covering a range of business aspects and their impact on the relationship with manufacturers. Responses are scored from one (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied). NFDA surveyed 30 franchise networks and received 1,742 responses from dealers, equating to a 40% response rate.
Kia topped the survey with an overall average score across all questions of 8.8 out of 10 points. Kia, which has been the highest scoring manufacturer for four consecutive issues of the survey, was followed by Toyota (8.6), Lexus (8.5) and Mercedes (8.4). Alfa Romeo (4.1), Fiat (4.0) and Jeep (3.8) were at the bottom of the table. The all dealers' average rose by 0.3 points from six months ago.
The all-important question how would you rate your manufacturer overall? had an average score of 5.8 points, which was 0.1 points higher than six months ago. The top performers were Kia (9.3), Toyota and Mercedes (9.0) and Lexus (8.8). The networks that returned the lowest ratings were Alfa Romeo (3.5), Jeep (3.4) and Citroen (3.3).
Sue continued, 'Positively, the steady upward movement of the average dealer satisfaction levels, which started 12 months ago, is continuing. In particular, retailers showed satisfaction with the sales of used cars and with their manufacturers' used car programmes, reflecting the buoyancy of the sector.
'A constructive relationship between retailers and manufacturers is vital for the automotive industry to prosper and NFDA will be engaging with manufacturers to ensure that any concerns currently affecting retailers are addressed.'