However, ChryslerJeep has criticized the findings of the research, which ranks the ability of a manufacturer’s network to attract retail buyers.
“I’m not sure how valid this study is. It fails to look at consumer targeting,” says Simon Elliot, managing director of ChryslerJeep UK.
“We are obviously not trying to reach all consumers and certainly not trying to reach all the same consumers as a brand like Audi. We have 0.7% market share, so you would not expect us to have the same reach as other larger brands like Audi.”
The research claims to use a combination of manufacturer’s brand strength and the location of the dealers to rank the networks of all manufacturers with new retail sales of more than 6,000 units a year.
Mercedes-Benz came second and Volkswagen third, while Toyota and Citroën complete the top five. At the other end, MG, Rover, Chrysler and Subaru join Jeep in the bottom five. Ford was ranked ninth and Vauxhall fourteenth.
The tables take into account brand strength and the number of dealers in each network. The scores are the product of each manufacturer’s accessibility to UK households divided by the number of dealers in the manufacturer’s UK network. CACI cites Audi’s leading position as reflecting a relatively small, but well-configured dealer network, supported by an excellent brand position.