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Franchised dealers lose fleet business to independents

Franchised dealers are losing service business from fleets to independent rivals, according to a new report.

The 2007 Business Car Perceptions Report published by management consultant BearingPoint and compiled by Professor Peter Cooke surveyed 309 fleet companies. It found that almost two-fifths (39%) of fleets already use non-franchised dealers for servicing while a further 18% said they intend to switch to independents in the near future.

Respondents’ reasons for making the switch include lower price, convenience and improved customer service. Those still using franchised dealers gave a damning view of the level of service they are receiving. Customer care is rated 6.3 out of 10, while advice scores an average 4.6.

James Rodger, global automotive leader at BearingPoint, said: “The shift from franchised to non-franchised dealers should give considerable cause for concern for vehicle manufacturers and dealers alike. Our research should serve as a serious wake up call to them that their aftersales business is under threat and that now is the time to address the situation.”

  • Peter Cooke has this month left his post at Nottingham Business School to become Professor of Automotive Management at the University of Buckingham.

  • A more detailed article analysing the trends will be published in the October 5 issue of AM. To subscribe to AM magazine click here or call 01733 468659.
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