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Manufacturer relationships are improving, say franchised dealers

Franchised dealers believe there has been an overall improvement in the day to day relationship with their manufacturer, according to the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey.

Sales incentive programmes and improved profitability boosted partnerships, according to winter 2012/2013 results, released today.

• When asked about the overall value of the franchised, the all dealer average increased from 6.6 to 6.9.
• Land Rover, BMW, Kia, Mini and Audi were recorded as the top 5 franchises.
• The least valued franchises by respondents are Alfa Romeo, Renault, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Seat.

However, the trend towards diminishing dealer/manufacturer relationships, highlighted in the Summer 2012 Dealer Attitude Survey, took a turn for the better:
• When questioned about the partnership with their manufacturer 62% of dealers increased their rating.
• When dealers were asked to rate their manufacturer’s sales incentive programmes the results showed an increase of 0.2. In addition, 86% of respondents scored on or above this mark.

Also profit and profitability ratings have improved slightly in this survey with dealers showing less concern about the standards imposed on their dealerships.

When rating the profit return by representing their franchise, 63% of networks improved their score, and when asked about the future profitability of their business 67% of dealers increased their score.

When questioned about the dealer standards set by manufacturers compared with the return on investment/reward, the all dealer average increased from 2.9 to 3.0 with 67% of dealers increasing the rating since the last survey.

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: “Manufacturer/dealer relationships appear to have improved in recent months with new models and sales incentives boosting dealer profitability. Despite ailing sales in the rest of Europe the UK car market remains buoyant and manufacturers are keen to bolster through rewarding higher sales volumes.

“However manufacturers continue to take an aggressive stance when setting targets. Many dealers feel they have little ability to negotiate with manufacturers on targets.”

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