UK-based organisation, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), has just released the findings of its latest Dealer Attitude Survey, conducted in July 2016.

It found that satisfaction with the relationship between franchised car Dealers and car manufacturers was unchanged from last year, with an average score of 6.2 out of 10.

NFDA’s role is similar to AADA’s. It represents franchised car and commercial vehicle Dealers, lobbying for their legal rights, advising on different aspects of the Dealers’ business and working to maintain a harmonious relationship with manufacturers.

Twice a year NFDA conducts a survey that examines how Dealers view the major issues currently affecting them, while also evaluating how these views are changing over time. It also offers franchised Dealers and their respective manufacturers a clear idea of the balance of opinion held on a range of views within their networks.

Dealers were asked to respond to questions covering significant aspects of their business relationship with their manufacturer. From these responses scores were produced on a simple 10-point scale running from 1 – extremely dissatisfied to 10 – extremely satisfied.

NFDA Director Sue Robinson said this year’s NFDA Summer 2016 survey had 1,746 respondents from a total participating Dealer network of 4,090, which equates to a response rate of 43 per cent. This was the highest return ever, surpassing last winter’s high of 39 per cent. There were 28 franchise networks in the survey which represent a range of Dealer sizes and ownership types from across the UK.

“Twelve networks saw an improvement in score, although it is concerning to see that a number of franchises have been experiencing a continued decline”, Ms Robinson said.

The all-important question about the overall value of the franchise shows an increase in Dealer satisfaction with their manufacturers when compared to the last winter survey’s results (6.2 vs 6.1), but it has remained at the same level as last summer.

  • Mercedes is once again the highest scoring franchise with an average score of 9.5. This is up 0.2 points compared to the winter and slightly down from last summer’s peak (9.7)
  • Kia has improved by 0.8 points from last winter and is now the second placed manufacturer with 9.2 points.
  • Lexus has made huge progress from summer 2012 when they scored 6.7 and they are now third with an average score of 9.0 points.
  • Suzuki and BMW close out the top five with 8.9 and 8.1 points respectively.
  • The least valued franchises by respondents are Citroen, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi.

Ms Robinson concluded that average scores were fairly neutral and suggested there was potential room for improvement.

“On a positive note, some manufacturers appear to have found the correct balance and are working successfully with their Dealer networks,” she said.
“Looking at the current short-term uncertainty and the possible challenges ahead following the Brexit vote, it is vital that Dealers and manufacturers continue to cooperate and try to strengthen their relationship to achieve positive outcomes.”

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