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Alfa is big mover in satisfaction survey

The subject of new car sales targets has been a bone of contention for some franchises, particularly if the carmaker takes a new tack and asks the retail network to drive more sales for lower margins.

The Sewells Dealer Attitude Survey 2007, published this month, shows that some dealers have lost a faith in some of the strategies followed by their manufacturer partners. On the other hand, some previous poor performers are apparently beginning to turn the corner.

The highest climber in new car target satisfaction is Alfa Romeo, whose drive to improve quality and become a premium contender appears to have gone down well with its dealers (41% responded). Its satisfaction rating has driven up from bottom in 2006 to 6th highest in 2007. It has also improved significantly in numerous other areas, such as new vehicle supply, marketing, sales support, management and financial viability.

Citroën (12.3% responded) also fared well in new car target satisfaction, with a climb to 20th from last year’s 33rd place, and bottom ranking 34th in 2005. However, dealers rate it among the bottom third in performance for new car supply, marketing, sales support and warranty.

Other climbers in new car target satisfaction include Toyota, back to 4th after a slip to 6th last year (28.6% responded), and Volkswagen, up to 8th from 13th in 2006 (17.2% responded).

BMW dealers aren’t satisfied with their new vehicle targets. Since 2005, the franchise’s score has plummeted 20 places down the rankings to 28th of 34 brands, possibly a reflection of its volume-led sales strategy. However its dealers (23.8% responded) are reasonably content with vehicle supply and marketing, sales support, service and parts provision.

Renault dealers (9.4% responded) are also unhappy with new car targets, sending the brand down from 11th in 2005 to 23rd this year, while Chrysler Group’s rating has continued its downslide to 33rd from 15th in 2005 (28.3% of the network responded).

Both brands also fare badly in terms of new vehicle supply, marketing, sales support, service and parts, which all show a significant decline in the satisfaction, with dealers putting Chrysler rock bottom in 34th place for financial viability and parts supply.

  • Sewells Information and Research 01733 468254
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