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Signs of optimism in EV Dealer Attitude Survey

NFDA 29/11/2019

“It is positive that retailers showed a degree of optimism about the electric vehicle sector in the latest NFDA EV Dealer Attitude Survey”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) commenting on the results of the latest NFDA Electric Vehicle Dealer Attitude Survey (EV DAS).

This is the third edition of the EV DAS which was launched in 2018. The main objective of the survey is to monitor retailers’ satisfaction levels with their manufacturers’ approach to the electric vehicle sector.

NFDA carries out the survey twice a year and asks retailers about their views on business aspects which play an important role in the electric vehicle sector. These include current and future product offering, supply availability, bonus and rebates, profit return, return on investment, finance, and incentives. The survey was conducted in July 2019 and responses were scored from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied). 

Not all manufacturers have entered the EV market yet, therefore, NFDA has included in the survey only respondents from franchisees who currently have at least one new plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle available to the consumer. It is important to note that the manufacturers featured in this report are the market leaders in the electric vehicle sector.

Average scores

The overall average score was 6.30 out of 10. Toyota maintained the lead in all manufacturer-related areas of the survey and had the highest average score, with 9.20 points out of 10.

Kia and Volvo followed with 7.63 and 6.80 points respectively. Mitsubishi, Mini, Hyundai, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar had scores above 6.0 indicating a degree of dealer satisfaction.

Of the manufacturer previously included in the survey, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen saw marginal improvements in score, while Mercedes had the biggest losses with the average score going down to 6.12 from 7.5.

Robinson added, “Respondents were confident that a large number of customers currently owning an EV* would replace their current vehicle with another plug-in hybrid or pure electric**.

“A number of retailers continued to be concerned with their return on investment in equipment and training, bonus and rebates, and manufacturer training and material supporting them to effectively sell EVs***. 

“Overall, retailers gave high scores in key areas such as product range, supply and consumer appetite. However, it is important that the issues highlighted by the survey are addressed and all retailers are enabled to meet the fast-growing consumer demand as soon as possible”.

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*Pure EV or hybrid

**The question ‘How likely are customers who own electric or plug-in vehicles to replace them with another electric or plug-in vehicle when they buy a new vehicle?’ had an average score in response of 6.72.

***Average scores: how satisfied are you with the return on investment in equipment and training for electric and plug-in vehicles? 5.61; How satisfied are you with your current bonus and rebate rates on new electric and plug-in sales? 5.85; How satisfied are you that your manufacturer enables you to effectively sell electric and plug-in vehicles (through training and materials)? 5.89.

This edition of the EV DAS saw the inclusion of three manufacturers that were not featured in the previous surveys. As a result, average scores should not be compared to the previous ones but solely utilised as an indication of general trends.

In addition to the manufacturers included in this report, there was a level of discontent expressed by a number of dealer networks whose manufacturers do not currently have any electric vehicle. Since the vast majority of the survey questions not applicable to them, as they do not sell any electric vehicle, these are not included in the report.

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.