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Dealer-manufacturer relations improve, says NFDA survey

Dealer-manufacturer relations have improved over last six months due to the need to work together during the recession.

The view comes from the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Summer 2009 Dealer Attitude Survey which shows a distinct improvement in some dealer-manufacturer relations since the Winter 2008-2009 Survey.

The top performing manufacturers were Audi, Toyota and Kia and the results were based on 1,076 respondents to the survey representing a total network size of 4,688 sites.

Headline figures

  • 91% of dealers have become more satisfied by the profit return represented by their franchise since the last survey.
  • 73% of dealers have become more satisfied with their relationship with their manufacturer since the last survey.
  • 61% of dealers have become happier about their ability to work with their manufacturer on a daily basis.
  • 55% of networks report that their manufacturer takes their views and opinions into account.

 To download the full RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Summer 2009 Dealer Attitude Survey please click here.

Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “The need to work together through tough economic conditions has caused certain vehicle dealer-manufacturer relationships to improve in recent months.

“The industry has survived through the very tough trading conditions at the end of 2008 and the start of 2009, and has now begun to see some improvement in the market following the introduction of the scrappage programme and a strong used car market.”

Robinson said it was vital to be able to trust people you are in business with and that many dealers have found manufacturers to be more of a partner than they may have previously realised.

She added: “The market still needs to improve further, but the survey has been encouraging. The whole industry has worked together to move towards long-term growth. It would be good if the stronger relations forged in this period could lead to a more equal partnership as we move forward.”

Due to uncertainties over the renewal of Block Exemption Robinson warned that the future could not be easily predicted. The NFDA is working with the Government to make sure there is a “stronger and more balanced relationship” between dealers and manufacturers.

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