Car Dealer Power

Car Dealer Power 2021: Where did your car manufacturer rank this year?

  • Full list of the car manufacturers ranked in 13 categories
  • Dealers have rated their partners to name best and worst in the UK
  • 24 manufacturers receive minimum number of votes to be included in 2021

Time 6:00 pm, October 13, 2021

For the second year in a row, Kia has aced our Car Dealer Power survey with a stellar set of scores from its dealers.

Our Car Dealer Power survey ranks manufacturers in 13 key areas with their dealer partners anonymously ranking their business partners.

This year Kia rose to the top once again with one of the highest scores ever achieved.

Its dealers ranked it over 90 per cent in every category and it was more than 10 percentage points above the second placed manufacturer.

In this post you can view all the manufacturers that received the minimum number of responses (10) to be included in the survey.

Manufacturers that did not receive the minimum number of responses are not included.

Scores in each category are taken into account to give manufacturers their overall rating to one decimal point.

1. Kia (–) 96.5 per cent

Topping the list for the second year running, the Korean manufacturer improved on last year’s score by 1.7 points. It achieved the highest scores in all 13 of our categories and was close to perfect for its warranty, accessibility of its management and forward planning. Marketing and brand awareness also nearly scored perfect 10s. Kia works hard to keep its dealers happy and informed and during the pandemic has continued to do just that.

2. BMW (+8) – 85.7 per cent

The German firm takes a huge leap up our table in 2021 with a place on podium. While Kia’s unassailable lead at the top is insurmountable this year, BMW takes the narrowest of second placed positions ahead of bitter rivals Mercedes by just 0.3 percentage points. Its best scores were registered in brand awareness and warranty categories, but importantly it managed to improve drastically on last year’s scores in requirements and bonus areas.

3. Mercedes-Benz (+1) – 85.4 per cent

Another climber from Germany and a place on the podium for Mercedes in 2021. The car maker achieved a near perfect score for brand awareness while its marketing, aftersales and warranty were all singled out for praise by its dealer network. It dropped some marks in new car supply and requirements. Improvements here would have edged it into second place.

4. Toyota (+4) – 84.6 per cent

A solid performance for the dependable Japanese brand with all scores above 80 per cent. The brand also climbed four places in the table as its new car supply and aftersales scores drastically improved on last year. Finance, warranty, brand awareness and forward planning also received decent scores.

5. Suzuki (+4) – 84.0 per cent

Improving four places on last year is another Japanese brand that has kept dealers happy in 2021 with accessible management and great finance offers. Scores over 90 per cent were also registered in warranty, after sales and marketing categories. It dropped considerable points in its new and used car supply categories, though.

6. Mazda (-1) – 83.5 per cent

After topping the list two years ago, Mazda drops another place in the 2021 survey which will be a bit of a worry for the top brass. It’s by no means a poor overall performance, though, with the drop coming as a result of lower scores in bonus, requirements and used car supply categories. Dealers did give decent marks for the management’s accessibility and finance offers.

7. Volkswagen (+5) – 82.5 per cent

The German brands have certainly managed to improve their stock in 2021 with VW climbing five places into the top 10. A top score for brand awareness was followed up with above 90 per cent marks in forward planning, online offering and warranty categories. Manufacturer requirements and bonus scheme were where its dealers had a grumble.

8. Honda (+11) – 81.8 per cent

Our highest climber in this year’s survey, Honda leaps 11 places thanks to great scores for its finance offers and warranty. Dealers gave it solid marks across the board with nine categories above 80 per cent. However, there’s clearly an issue with brand requirements as the maker drops the most points here, closely followed by its online presence.

9. Hyundai (+7) – 80.1 per cent

Another Korean brand inside the top 10, but only narrowly so for Kia sister brand Hyundai. Solid scores for its warranty, closely followed by decent marks in the aftersales and brand awareness categories helped it move up seven places this year. However, its dealers are still having issues with the management’s accessibility, as it’s here it registers its lowest mark.

10. Subaru (New entry) – 79.8 per cent

It’s a new entry this year for Subaru, back in our results after last year when too few dealers filled in our survey. Now it’s back, the firm garners top scores for its finance offers and accessibility of management. Its warranty, brand requirements and aftersales also got decent ratings from its dealer partners.

11. Skoda (+4) – 73.7 per cent

Rising four places and just missing out on a top 10 slot this year is Skoda. Last year it scored woefully on its return on investment with a score of just 45, but that’s improved to 70 in 2021. Its dealers rated it highly for warranty and brand awareness, but there are issues with the requirements it puts on its dealers where it recorded its lowest score this year.

12. Ford (-1) – 73.2 per cent

Another mid table spot for Ford this year, but it slips one place in our survey. Dealers rate the brand the highest for its excellent brand awareness, closely followed by its warranty and finance offers. However, it begins to drop marks when it comes to bonuses and the accessibility of management.

13. Nissan (–) – 68.6 per cent

There’s no movement for Nissan in this year’s Car Dealer Power survey, but the maker’s overall score does drop slightly, down 0.7 per cent. Its highest scores were recorded in the online offering and warranty categories. However, the rest were pretty consistent, neither good enough to catapult it up or down our survey.

14. Jaguar (+7) – 68.5 per cent

Jaguar has climbed an impressive seven places this year and narrowly missed out on jumping another by 0.1 per cent. Top marks for brand awareness and its warranty were head and shoulders above the other areas, with its new car supply and brand requirements coming in for the most criticism.

15. Audi (-8) – 64.6 per cent

It’s an eight-place plummet down the table for Audi which, unlike its German siblings, is not keeping its dealers quite as happy. Its bonus scheme, brand requirements, return on investment and new car supply appear to be its biggest problems. Its bonus score almost halved this year compared to 2020.

16. Peugeot (-3) – 64.4 per cent

Poor new car supply, disappointing bonus structure and inaccessibly management were the main gripes for Peugeot’s dealers. The French firm drops three places in this year’s survey, with a top score recorded for its warranty, closely followed by its brand awareness.

17. Land Rover (+3) – 64.2 per cent

Although their dealers are joint facilities with Jaguar, the off road arm of the duo is three places further down our table. However, the British brand has managed to haul itself up three spots on last year. Its best score came thanks to impressive brand awareness, but (like Jaguar) its brand requirements come in for criticism as does its new car supply.

18. Renault (-1) – 63.6 per cent

There’s no particular elephant in the va-va-room for the French firm, with most categories recording the same slightly-above mid table scores in our survey. That hasn’t stopped Renault dropping a place in 2021. The requirements it places on dealers were their biggest gripe, closely followed by concerns with used car supply, forward planning, bonuses and return on investment.

19. Seat (-12) – 62.7 per cent

Seat is our second biggest faller in Car Dealer Power 2021 as it free falls 12 places. Used car supply is its biggest problem, say dealers, closely followed by poor new car supply. It redeemed some points thanks to dealers’ appreciation of some decent finance offers, but more scores were dropped in the aftersales category. Some considerable improvement needed.

20. Fiat (+2) – 58.9 per cent

It’s an improvement on last year, but still nothing to be proud of for Fiat. Marketing and used car supply come in for the most criticism. Accessibility of management, its online offering, new car supply, requirements and bonus structure all score pretty poorly too.

21. Volvo (-18) – 57.5 per cent

For a brand focussed on safety, Volvo couldn’t prevent a car crash of a result in this year’s survey. From a podium place last year to a plummet just four places from the bottom of our survey. Dealers hit out at its bonus scheme, poor new car supply with its strict requirements coming in for stinging criticism. Only its brand awareness and and warranty offered it some salvation.

22. Vauxhall (+2) – 53.5 per cent

It might be working hard on refreshing its brand image and its products, but those changes haven’t hit home with its dealers – yet. It finishes this year two places up on last year but still third from bottom. Its bonus scheme, return on investment, and strict requirements all register poor scores.

23. MG (+3) – 51.8 per cent

MG was shocked with its poor performance in last year’s survey and promised to take action – if it did, it sadly didn’t have much impact. It may have risen three places on last year’s survey, but still finishes second from bottom here. The brand may be hoovering up dealers but will need to work hard on its forward planning and used car scheme in particular if it’s to keep them happy.

24. Citroen (-1) – 50.9 per cent

It is last place for the French firm which is lambasted for new car supply, manufacturer requirements and its bonus scheme. The firm drops a place on last year and finishes bottom in our survey (that has two less manufacturers than last year). There are glimmers of hope in the used car supply and warranty categories, but they’re not enough to help shift itself off the bottom.

Manufacturers not listed here did not reach the minimum threshold of responses in our survey to be included. In 2020, 26 manufacturers were included in the Car Dealer Power survey.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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