Honda has promised to look closely at the latest NFDA and Sewells dealer attitude surveys and act on any areas of dissatisfaction.
The carmaker finished in mid-table in the NFDA survey when ranked on overall value of the franchise, but was scored second worst in three areas: new car bonuses, pressure to self-register and impact on the business of self registering.
“We are going through a complete review based on the surveys and what can be learnt,” said Bernard Bradley, Honda UK general manager – cars.
“We expect our score to improve in the next one.”
Cutting dealers' targets
He has already taken action to address the new car bonus issue by cutting dealers’ bonus targets by 10% for the first half of the year.
“We took that action in June because we recognised the challenges that dealers were facing in a tough market,” he said.
“And we took a step that was over and above the market conditions – at that point the UK market was down only around 2% but we cut targets by 10%.”
The majority of Honda’s growth was weighted towards the first half of the year, with a flat second six months.
It now expects to end the year down from 102,000 unit sales to the “mid to high 90s”.
Extending dealer incentives
But self-registering will not be part of the strategy to hit the numbers.
Honda accepts that dealers went beyond a natural level of pre-registering in March to release bonus and it has taken steps to ensure the situation isn’t repeated this month.
“We have extended our incentives until the end of December with the sole purpose of encouraging dealers not to self-register at the end of this month,” said Bradley.
He is now out on the road visiting dealers on a one-to-one basis.
“We need to stay close to our dealers and speak to them regularly, especially now with the tough market conditions,” Bradley added.
“It enables us to understand and tackle the issues.”