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Uncertainty affects dealer-manufacturer relationship

Dealers are experiencing a great deal of apprehension over manufacturer control, according to the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association’s latest dealer attitude survey.

Ninety-four per cent of dealer networks surveyed said they felt the level of control exerted by their manufacturer will increase over the next 12 months. Eighty-four per cent of dealers said their average retained margin on new car sales has fallen compared to a year ago.

However, on a day-to-day basis dealers are very happy in their relationship with their manufacturer. Seventy-two per cent are satisfied with the business relationship they have with their manufacturer and 59% said that manufacturer requirements are fair to their dealerships.

Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: “With the economy weakening, and discussions in relation to the Block Exemption Regulation still underway, it is natural for dealers to feel a certain amount of trepidation, and this is reflected in the lower overall score recorded by the survey compared to last year.

“With the NFDA’s BER submission now with the European Commission, members will be aware of our lobbying activity undertaken to seek a positive outcome.”

However, Robinson believes that beyond these concerns, the dealer-manufacturer relationship remains positive: “The survey shows that despite dealer awareness of growing manufacturer demands, the relationship is actually very good. In the end good relations solve many problems, so this should bode well for the future.”

  • To download a PDF of the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey click here.
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