Car dealer, manufacturer relationship deteriorates further: NFDA dealer attitude survey
The latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey has revealed that the relationship between car manufacturers and franchised dealers has deteriorated. The NFDA surveyed 29 franchised networks and received 1,893 responses from dealers, equating to a 47 per cent response rate, the highest since the inception of the survey in 1989.
“The overall relationship between franchised car dealers and manufacturers recorded an average score of 5.3 in the Winter 2017/2018 Dealer Attitude Survey. This is -0.3 points lower than six months ago and indicates that the relationship has further deteriorated,” said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, commenting on the NFDA Winter 2017/2018 Dealer Attitude Survey, published today (5 March 2018).
The all-important question asking dealers ‘how would they rate their manufacturers overall’, saw a decline of -0.3 points compared with the previous survey. 18 networks saw their score decrease, nine improved and two remained unchanged.
Kia, Mercedes and Toyota were the highest scoring franchises with 8.9 points each. Lexus and Suzuki closed out the top five with 8.6 and 7.9 points respectively. The least valued networks were Jeep with 2.4 points, Fiat with 2.0 and Alfa Romeo with 1.4.
Overall average score
With an overall average of 8.6 points, Kia had again the highest average score across all questions of the survey. This represented a marginal improvement of 0.1 points from six months ago. Toyota (8.4), Lexus (8.4) and Mercedes (8.3) followed.
Following a disappointing performance in the summer survey, Nissan was the most improved franchise network with an overall increase of 60.7 points across all the questions of the survey. Toyota also saw an impressive upward movement, with 54.0 points gained across the survey. At the other end of the table, Abarth, with an overall loss of -98.6 points saw the biggest decline.
Robinson continued, “The record response rate of the latest Dealer Attitude Survey shows that the survey represents an increasingly important tool for dealers to monitor the health of the relationship with their manufacturers and highlight any potential business-related issues.
“The results of the survey show that current uncertainty in the market as well as in the economic and political landscape has affected the dealer/manufacturer relationship.
“Going forward, it is imperative that dealers and manufacturers cooperate constructively to ensure that the automotive industry continues to thrive.”
The NFDA carries out the Dealer Attitude Survey on a biannual basis. The results display the general health of the dealer/manufacturer relationship, indicate potential difficulties and highlight where there are strong and constructive working environments.