“It is extremely encouraging to see a record response rate for the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey Summer 2019, which revealed a minor decline in dealers’ satisfaction levels with the relationship with their manufacturers”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK.
This NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey summer 2019 was conducted in July 2019 and asked franchised dealers 53 questions about their on-going relationship with their respective manufacturers. The questions covered a range of business issues and the impact on dealers’ satisfaction levels with their manufacturers’ relationship. Responses are scored from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied).
NFDA surveyed 30 franchise networks and received 2,077 responses from dealers, equating to a record 50% response rate.
Overall average score
Lexus had the highest average score of all questions of the survey with an overall average of 8.7 out of 10 points. After four consecutive surveys at the top, Kia was the second-best manufacturer with 8.6 points. Suzuki and Toyota followed with 8.1 points. Fiat (3.4), Alfa Romeo (3.0) and Abarth (2.9) were at the bottom of the table. On average, there was a slight decline of -0.1 points.
The all-important question how would you rate your manufacturer overall? had an average score of 5.6 points, which was 0.2 points lower than six months ago and 0.1 points down from last year. Lexus and Kia (9.1) were joint top performers, followed by Suzuki (8.4) and Toyota (8.2). The manufacturers with the lowest ratings were BMW (3.3), Alfa Romeo and Abarth (2.6).
Movement in score
There was an overall average loss of -5.7 points across all questions of the survey. Honda (+57.7), Suzuki (+41.5) and Volvo (+38.7) had the largest improvements in score, Suzuki and Volvo continued the positive trend started six months ago. BMW (-67.2), Abarth (-78.4) and Hyundai (-86.3) experienced the biggest losses.
Robinson added, “This year’s record response rate shows the value that franchised dealers place on the survey. In turn, it is encouraging to see that manufacturers use the survey to understand the main issues affecting their dealer networks.
“Despite a small decline, dealers remained fairly satisfied with their margins on used car sales demonstrating that this was a key area of focus during the first half of the year. Positively, average satisfaction levels with manufacturers’ alternative fuel vehicle offering continued to increase.
“The survey outlined a number of dealers’ concerns, in particular, surrounding current profit return and return on capital for their dealerships. We urge manufacturers to continue to work closely with their dealer networks to address these issues and provide the basis for the automotive industry to thrive despite the external challenges”.
• How satisfied are you with your total margin on used car sales? Average score: 6.4/10;
Top performer: Lexus (8.8); Bottom performer: Abarth (3.9).
• How satisfied are you with the alternative fuel vehicle offering? Average score: 5.2/10; Top performer: Toyota (9.3); Bottom performer: Abarth (1.3)
• How satisfied are you with the current profit return from representing your business? Average score: 4.7/10; Top performer: Kia (8.4); Bottom performer: Alfa Romeo (1.9)
• How satisfied are you with the return on capital for your dealership? Average score: 4.6/10;
Top performer: Kia (8.3); Bottom performer: Alfa Romeo (1.6)
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.