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Business relationship between dealers and manufacturers improves

NFDA 13/09/2021

“It is positive to see that dealers’ satisfaction levels with their manufacturers have improved across most business areas; as consumer confidence returns and the economic environment continues to recover, there are reasons to be optimistic about the months ahead”, 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 summer 2021 published today, Monday 13 March 2021.

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, conducts the Dealer Attitude Survey twice a year. The survey has taken place uninterruptedly since 1989.

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

With a total of 2,468 responses from 32 participating dealer networks, the summer 2021 survey received a response rate of 56.8%.


Manufacturer support during COVID-19

Average levels of dealer satisfaction with the support received through the pandemic by respective manufacturers rose to 6.8 points out of 10, up from 6.4 in the winter 2020/2021 issue of the survey. Toyota (9.6), Lexus (9.5) and Kia (9.4) received the highest ratings.

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

Lexus (9.7) topped the all-important question ‘how would you rate your manufacturer overall on a scale of 1 to 10’, followed by Toyota and Kia (both at 9.6). Fiat (4.2), Abarth (3.8) and Hyundai (3.1) had the lowest ratings, despite all experiencing an increase in score. The average score rose by 0.2 points to 6.5.

Overall average score

At 9.2 points, Lexus had the highest average score across all questions for the fifth consecutive edition of the survey, following a marginal 0.1 improvement from six months ago. Kia followed with 9.1 points (previously 8.7) and Toyota sat in third place with 8.9 points (up from 8.4). Jeep (4.7), Fiat (4.3) and Abarth (3.8) received the lowest scores. The overall average was 6.3, up from 6.0.

Sue Robinson added: “The NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey represents a key indicator of the health of the business relationship between franchised dealers and their respective manufacturers, and it is encouraging to see that every six months it attracts an extremely high response rate from dealers as well significant recognition from manufacturers.

“The overall average score across all questions of the survey continued to improve. Unsurprisingly, dealers’ satisfaction levels were particularly high with respect to total margins on used car sales; most dealers gave high ratings also to their manufacturers’ alternative fuel vehicle offering and the quality of their OEMs’ training. A number of networks were concerned with their brand’s new car targeting process, although there was an improvement in score*.

“It is vital that dealers and manufacturers continue to work closely together as we emerge from the pandemic and related challenges. NFDA will continue to engage with manufacturers on behalf of our members”.

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Please access here the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey summer 2021 summary report.

  • How satisfied are you with your total margin on used car sales? Average score 7.4, up from 7.0
  • How satisfied are you with your alternative fuel vehicle offering? Average score 6.8, up from 6.4
  • How satisfied are you with the quality of your manufacturer's training? Average score 6.9, up from 6.8
  • How satisfied are you with your new car targeting process? Average score 5.7, up from 5.3

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.