Lexus and Land Rover are the most highly rated franchises. The least valued are Fiat, Chrysler, Seat, Alfa Romeo and Renault according to dealers.
In the latest National Franchised Dealers Association survey of dealers’ views of manufacturers Audi, BMW and Kia were also amongst the most highly valued.
But across the board there was a consistent message. “Franchised dealers continue to look to manufacturers for more support through tough trading conditions during the winter period.
“The winter 2010/2011 Franchised Dealer Attitude Survey have resulted in a record response rate from the 30 participating networks. It is clear from this that dealers have a message they want to share with us,” said Sue Robinson, NFDA director.
Dealers have expressed some concern with the supply and stocking of vehicles with the average score out of a maximum of five reducing by -0.1 to 3.4.
“This probably reflects extending lead times for certain models,” said Robinson.
“Networks such as Fiat, Mitsubishi, Kia and Renault showed particularly large drops in rating in this respect.
"Conversely, Honda and Vauxhall have shown positive movements in the ratings showing that their manufacturers took note after their weak results in the previous survey.”
Despite there being an overall improvement in new car target negotiating processes, it appears the majority of dealers still feel their manufacturer target aspirations are unrealistic, with 60% of networks reducing in rating or giving a static score.
With the economic climate and market conditions still challenging dealer profitability remains of some concern with 50% of networks reducing their score.
This reflects the concerns of some brands that 2011 will remain tough.
Proton, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Seat show the most concern sitting at the bottom of the rankings. The top three in the question about dealer profitability are Land Rover, Audi and Mercedes.
> The NFDA DAS is carried out twice a year. The winter survey had 1,255 respondents, representing a total network size of 4,518 sites and a 28% response rate.
> To view the survey click here.