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NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey reveals improving satisfaction levels

NFDA 12/03/2021

“It is positive that despite the significant disruption faced by our industry over the past twelve months, dealers are, on average, fairly satisfied with the relationship with their respective manufacturers”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the results of the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey winter 2020/2021 published today, Monday 15 March 2021.

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, carries out the Dealer Attitude Survey twice a year. The survey has taken place continuously since 1989. With a total of 2,585 responses from 32 participating dealer networks, the survey received a response rate of 59.5%.


This edition of the survey was conducted in January 2021 and asked franchised dealers a series of questions covering key business issues affecting the relationship with their respective manufacturers. Responses are scored from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied). 


Key findings:


Manufacturer support during COVID-19

Average levels of dealer satisfaction with the support received through the pandemic by respective manufacturers remained relatively high at 6.4 points out of 10. Lexus (9.4), Kia (9.3) and Toyota (8.8) received the highest ratings in this section. Thanks to an increase of 2.2 points from the summer edition of the survey, Volkswagen saw the largest improvement.

How would you rate your manufacturer overall on a scale of 1 to 10?


Lexus (9.5), Kia (9.2), Toyota and Mercedes (both at 9.1) topped the all-important question ‘how would you rate your manufacturer overall on a scale of 1 to 10’. Jeep, Hyundai, Fiat (all at 2.8) and Alfa Romeo (1.8) had the lowest scores. The average score for this question grew by 0.3 points to 6.3.

Overall average score

At 9.1 points, Lexus had the highest average score across all questions for the fourth consecutive edition of the survey. Kia followed in second place (8.7) and Mercedes (8.5) closed the top three thanks to a 1.0-point jump from six months ago. Jeep (3.0), Fiat (2.9) and Alfa Romeo (2.6) sat at the bottom of the table. The average score for this question (6.0) was up by 0.1 points from six months ago.

Sue Robinson added, “The NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey is vitally important to gauge the health of the business relationship between dealers and manufacturers and highlight any potential issues; with the challenges facing our sector over the past months, it is extremely encouraging that nearly 60% of UK dealers completed the survey.

“Despite relatively low scores for important aspects such as profit return, required levels of investment and return on capital, dealers showed higher levels of satisfaction than six months ago. However, a number of dealer networks were dissatisfied with their manufacturers’ volume target aspirations and with the overall new car targeting process.

“Positively, the majority of dealers are satisfied with their ability to do business with respective manufacturers on a day-to-day basis. As we come out of the pandemic and the economic environment improves, it is crucial that manufacturers have realistic expectations of their networks and continue to work closely with dealers”.

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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.