The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has launched a division in Northern Ireland to ‘outline dealers’ priorities’ and ‘tackle issues’ affecting them.
This includes Northern Irlenad protocol, MOT, the 2030 end of petrol and diesel sales, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and COVID-19 Northern Ireland restrictions and reopening, according to the NFDA.
NFDA chief executive, Sue Robinson, said: “The ongoing issues facing automotive retailers in Northern Ireland mean we must continue to increase our lobbying efforts to ensure the voice of the franchised vehicle dealer is heard, NFDA NI will represent the platform our industry needs to best represent dealers in Northern Ireland.”
Earlier this year, the UK Government confirmed it would reinstate the VAT margin scheme for cars imported and resold by car retailers in Northern Ireland – avoiding pressure on dealer margins and price increases for customers, a move celebrated by dealers and the NFDA.
Sytner, Lookers and TrustFord joined forces with the NFDA to find a solution to a post-Brexit tax issue which was set to add 20% to the cost of every vehicle imported from the mainland UK.
The NFDA said members of NFDA NI will benefit from resources including an NFDA representative based in Northern Ireland who will be assisting dealers by liaising regularly with the Government and other relevant parties.
Meetings and events for NFDA NI members will give dealers the opportunity to provide regular feedback to NFDA by raising any concerns that may be affecting them and, in turn, help set the direction of the association’s lobbying activities, said the NFDA.
NFDA NI will remain part of the wider NFDA, meaning members will also have access to the existing NFDA benefits including a legal helpline, the National Conciliation Service (NCS), as well as communications ranging from member-only guidance to industry insights and reports.
NFDA NI already has the support of dealer groups, including Agnew Group and Donnelly Group, it said.
Robinson added: “We look forward to working closely with our members, industry stakeholders and local Government to ensure dealers in Northern Ireland can receive the support they need.”