But Citroen, MG Rover, Proton and Volks-wagen took a hammering from their dealers. Judged on the value of the franchise to retailers and marked out of 10, Fiat jumped from 4.7 (winter 2002/03) to 6.7 while Mazda went from 5.1 to 6.9. Hyundai also scored well going from 5.4 to 7.0. Citroen fell from 5.5 to 4.0 while MG Rover dropped from 5.7 to 4.4. Volkswagen also slipped from 7.5 to 5.7. Proton saw its satisfaction rating slashed from 4.8 to 2.1. Topping the chart was Lexus with 9.4 and BMW with 9.2. Audi scored 8.7, Suzuki recorded 8.6 points, Toyota achieved 8.5 and both Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz scored 8.4.
Alan Pulham, RMI franchised dealer director, says: “Dealers are willing to give praise to manufacturers when they get things right, but are just as willing to point out any failings.” He adds: “They have done their bit for the manufacturers, now they want their concerns addressed.”
Most networks feel that despite the new block exemption regulations manufacturers continue to exert a considerable degree of control over their business. The survey found 40% believe carmakers will increase the amount of control.