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Honda dealers get individual plans

Honda is visiting retailers to discuss a business development review for the three years to 2010.

It has spoken to around 85% of the network in broad terms about sales numbers and intends, at the dealer conference later this month, to outline specific volume aspirations.

The carmaker’s regional teams will then visit dealers to implement individual business plans focusing on sales, aftersales and management.

“We will take the business apart and look at every aspect,” said Bernard Bradley, Honda UK head of sales.

“The dealer forms a view of the issues and provides the solutions. We guide them in a consultancy role.”

By the end of the year, every dealer will have an individually tailored business plan, including details of sales objectives. Factors considered will include business viability and propensity for growth, facilities and staff resources.

A traffic light system will be used to highlight problem areas, but Honda says dealers with a lot of red lights will not face penalties.

He admitted that some dealers initially felt Honda was interfering, but added: “They came out of their meetings feeling positive.

“The meetings add value and it’s a level of investigation they don’t get time to do themselves.”

Sales volumes will be set on a rolling 12-15 months basis, broken down model by model.

All dealers will have indicative figures for the next three years. They have already provided Honda with views on seasonal fluctuations which will be integrated into their sales plans.

Honda will announce bonus terms by the end of next month and while Bradley doesn’t intend to integrate them into a similar rolling plan as sales targets, his intention is to remain consistent. “The terms we will announce to the network will not be that dissimilar to their current terms,” he said.

“Changes will only be made if necessary and will be in consultation with the National Dealer Council.”

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