Finance deals are key to the new car market with dealers reporting a high level of satisfaction with their manufacturers’ finance schemes”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, commenting on the recent results of the NFDA Summer 2016 Dealer Attitude Survey.
The survey asks three questions about consumer finance. These asked dealers to rate the competitiveness of their manufacturers’ finance programme, the reasonableness of finance penetration and renewal targets set by manufacturers as well as of the underwriting stance and customer service aspects of manufacturers’ finance programme.
The question, ‘how satisfied are you with the competitiveness of your manufacturer’s finance programme?’ returned an average score of 7.2 points (on a scale from 0 to 10), which showed a high level of satisfaction amongst dealers. Eight franchises scored 8 points or more suggesting a significant number of them were satisfied in this area. Mercedes scored the highest at 9.5, while Mitsubishi was the lowest scoring with 4.5 points.
When responding to ‘how satisfied are you with the reasonableness of the finance penetration and renewal targets set by your manufacturer?’ Dealers returned an average score of 6.9 points. This score was marginally down on last summer’s survey, but was 0.1 points higher than the winter’s result. Mercedes had the highest score also in this question with 9.2 points, which showed a steady improvement over the past two years. Mitsubishi and Volkswagen sat at the bottom of the table with 5.3 points.
Finally, dealers returned an average score of 7.2 points when rating the ‘reasonableness of the underwriting stance and customer service aspects’ of their manufacturers’ finance programme. This score was again very positive; it has not changed since last winter’s survey. Lexus was the top scoring dealer network with 8.6 points.
Robinson concluded, “Low interest rates will make finance more affordable for consumers and offset possible increases in prices, particularly of certain imported vehicles due to sterling’s devaluation. Retail incentives and finance offers support consumers’ confidence and it is vital for the industry that dealers continue to be able to offer attractive deals.”