New dealer support packages have been launched in a bid to help Suzuki GB dealers survive Britain’s economic downturn.
Companies in the Japanese firm’s 145-strong network are being assisted with customer satisfaction and customer relationship management programmes and support is also being offered on a one-to-one basis, AM can reveal.
“We are going through a difficult period and the current average of just over 1% profit on sales falls far short of our typical 3% return.
“Naturally, I want us to return to that level of profitability, but we need to be realistic. Our dealers are working hard through a period with-out new product and we need to do our best to help them,” said sales and marketing director Dale Wyatt.
Gloomy predictions for the ind-ustry at the start of 2011 led the firm to set up a special ‘casualty fund’ for dealers falling into hard times – but so far, there have been no calls on the six-figure sum that was set aside.
“When we looked at the forecasts we were worried some of our family businesses might hit difficulties, but we have not had to deploy the money.
"I think this shows that small businesses can adapt quickly and make decision that have an immediate impact.
“However, it is important we have an individual, bespoke relationship with every dealer.
"Ours is not a one-size-fits-all operation and we know overheads and structures vary.
“We’re helping dealers review their processes and see if there are any process upsides we can work through with them to help achieve better returns,” said Wyatt.
He praised the network for maintaining retail sales volume even though fleet and business registrations now account for up to 65% of the market.