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SMMT and NFDA join forces to help boost franchised dealer aftersales retention

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) are launching a new MoT initiative that aims to help boost aftersales retention for franchised dealers.

In a nationwide consumer-facing media campaign targeting broadcast, print and online outlets that starts next month, motorists will be encouraged to carry out 10 quick-and-easy visual checks taking just a ‘Minute Or Two’, before booking-in their vehicle at a franchised dealership for its annual MoT.

Every carmaker in the UK is participating in the campaign and its promotion and all will be sharing the 10-point ‘Minute Or Two’ checklist with their networks so that dealership technicians are ready to assist any customers who might be unsure about carrying out the checks themselves.

The checks cover items such as headlights, indicators, brake lights, wheels and tyres, windscreen wipers and fluid levels.

Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive, said: “A recent survey carried out by SMMT revealed that over a third of motorists were unaware that the majority of franchised workshops even offered manufacturer-guaranteed MoT testing.

“An important part of this campaign, therefore, is to remind motorists where to turn for high quality customer service and vehicle maintenance and repairs.”

Industry data reveals that around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MoT each year as a result of simple issues such as faulty bulbs, too little tyre tread, or even empty windscreen washer fluid bottles – small repairs that could have been easily identified by the owner prior to the annual test. Of all MOT failure issues identified, in 12% of cases there was a tyre with tread below the minimum legal depth of 1.6mm, and for 13% of failure items there was a faulty headlight, brake light or indicator.

"The Minute or Two checks are easy and simple to perform and will save consumers time and aggravation when taking their vehicle for its annual MOT test," said Sue Robinson, NFDA director.

"If consumers have any concerns they should call a franchised dealer, who have fully trained technicians are up to speed on all makes and models, for advice." 

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  • Bob - 22/03/2013 14:49

    Surely this 'initiative' will take work away from the franchised network... If consumers look into these areas prior, they'll have them repaired/replaced before booking the MOT and bringing the vehicle in - therefore the retailer loses out on the sale or upsell.

  • Claire Birch - 22/03/2013 16:39

    What is 'manufacturer-guaranteed MoT testing' and is it better than an MOT at my local fast fit garage?

  • iceage - 22/03/2013 16:59

    Franchise dealers will continue to loose out to independents because they are simply to expensive. This is because the Aftersales department in a franchised dealer has to charge over the odds to subsidise their loss making new car department. So SMMT talk all you want but that's the game!

  • Mike Ward - 22/03/2013 22:54

    SMMT failing part of their membership - component manufacturers make profit from aftermarket and then use this to invest in the technology which helps differentiate VMs models. Looks like a major imbalance is starting to show again

  • Disgruntled - 22/03/2013 23:02

    I had a £35,000 3 year old car which went in to Audi for service and MOT. The vehicle did not pass because my fog light did not work. They did not have the part nor did VW. Two weeks later still no part so icontacted my head office in Frankfurt to help me. Correct part is no longer available from VW. Message from our technical service was you're lucky a mechanic had one in his tool box. The part was a 12" wire with two male connectors cost maximum 50p. A 35k car would have been scrapped had an independent not made the part up for me which Audi were incapable of doing. SMMT is failing to understand the market away from the glossy showrooms.

  • John Richards - 24/03/2013 11:46

    I carried out some work for a vehicle manufacturer on various petrol forecourts. My task was to offer consumers with any car some of the basic checks highlighted above. I was astounded by the number of people that carry out NO checks between services and just expect the car to perform safely. What was really concerning was that in my sample 16% of all cars had at least one tyre below 1.6mm. Not only is this below the legal limit, but also 'unsafe'