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Dealer/manufacturer relationship gets cosy in winter

The relationship between dealers and manufacturer’s is improving according to the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association’s winter 2006/2007 dealer attitude survey.

From the networks which were surveyed, 44% said the value of their franchise has rise, 81% said they were satisfied with vehicle supply and a huge 97% said vehicle distribution was good. Half of respondents said their confidence has increased since the last survey.

However, dealers still have some reservations. Two thirds believe that the marketing stance of their manufacturer has failed to improve retained margins on new cars, while more than half of networks give a downward rating for the effectiveness of their manufacturer's product advertising.

In line with this, retained margins on new car sales, including bonus and rebates, have fallen for more than four out of five networks and half suggest that this decline is steeper compared to six months ago. However, it is perhaps encouraging that for 11 networks this decline may be slowing slightly.

Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, said: "It is encouraging that the results of this latest survey seem to suggest that the manufacturer-car dealer relationship may be benefiting from a little more balance.

"At a time when the new car market is at its most competitive, every sale counts and it will be those manufacturers that inspire the most confidence in their networks that will perform best in this difficult climate."

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