Mercedes-Benz has received significant criticism in the new Dealer Attitude Survey by the National Franchised Dealers Association.
Its network is unhappy with pre-registering. Retailers rated the German brand worst of all 32 franchises in terms of inducing its network to self-register cars.
Overall, Mercedes-Benz was ranked 21 by the NFDA survey. But, in another show of inconsistency between the industry’s two main dealer surveys, the Sewells Dealer Attitude Survey puts Mercedes at No 7, a rise of seven places on 2007.
The NFDA survey also rated Mercedes worst for its policy for supply and stocking of vehicles. Profitability compared to the investment in standards required is another issue.
A Mercedes-Benz UK spokeswoman insisted that “Mercedes-Benz does not encourage retailers to self-register vehicles”.
“SMMT registration data shows that we and our retailers have far lower dealer fleet registrations than some other brands in our peer group,” she said.
“In fact, as a proportion of total sales, dealer fleet registrations for Mercedes-Benz for the first six months of 2008 are lower than the same period in 2007.”
The carmaker has reminded dealers on three occasions not to infringe the New Cars Order by self-registering cars and selling them within three months.
Alfa Romeo was rated top in the NFDA survey but dropped from 10 to 20 in Sewells’. It was followed by Jaguar and Suzuki, while Mini took top honours in the Sewells survey, followed closely by Toyota and last year’s number one, Lexus.