Dealer-manufacturer relations remain static

Dealers are ‘fairly satisfied’ with their relationships with manufacturers, according to the results of the NMDA Spring 2019 Dealer Attitude Survey, although there were significant areas for development.

The survey found that the relationship had remained largely unchanged since last autumn.

When asked about their ability to do business with their manufacturer on a day-to-day basis, the score average declined by -0.4 since the last survey, while dealer profit and future profitability both declined in this survey from Autumn 2018.

Stephen Latham, head of the NMDA, said, ‘This year’s Spring 2019 Dealer Attitude Survey received a response rate of 23% made up of 10 main brands. Participants in this survey were made up of 75% of independently owned franchise dealers, and 23% privately owned groups. 67% were single brand dealer’s whist the remainder of 33% were multi-franchised.

‘Overall the survey suggests that dealers are fairly satisfied with the business relationship they have with their manufacturer. The two manufacturers who saw their scores across all questions improve were BMW and Ducati. Both saw a significant increase and stood out as the only manufacturers making positive progress in the eyes of their dealers.  

‘Dealers are on average most satisfied with the image of the brands they represent and products they sell. This suggests that dealers are brand patriotic and confident in how the consumer views their manufacturer. Particularly, dealers were satisfied with brand and product image, and warranty policy and time allowances.

‘With the declines in scores for certain key questions, there is still scope with certain manufacturers to develop their relationships with their dealer networks as some still fall well below average in many areas of the survey.’