LEXUS achieved the top manufacturer rating again in a survey by the National Franchised Dealers’ Association.
The latest Dealer Attitude Survey – for winter 2019-20 – asked 31 franchise networks 53 questions about the ongoing relationship with their respective manufacturers. The 39 per cent response rate, with 1,795 dealers getting back in touch, saw Lexus retain its position at the top of the table with 9.4 points for overall satisfaction, followed by Mercedes (9.2), Toyota and Kia (8.9 each). Meanwhile, the manufacturers with the lowest ratings were Abarth (3.8), Alfa Romeo (3.4) and Hyundai (3.2).
The questions covered a range of business issues and their impact on dealers’ satisfaction levels with their manufacturer’s relationship. Responses were scored from one (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied).
There was an overall average improvement of 12.0 points across all questions of the survey. Following two disappointing performances in the past two surveys, BMW regained all the points it had previously lost with a total increase of 99.3 points. Suzuki registered the biggest loss in points, dropping by 62.7.
NFDA director Sue Robinson said: ‘It was positive to see an improvement in overall average dealers’ satisfaction levels with their manufacturers in the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey.
‘It is encouraging to see that most manufacturers continue to take seriously their performance in the survey and work with dealers to address their networks’ concerns. A healthy relationship between dealers and manufacturers is instrumental to the success of our industry.
‘Despite a number of concerns, particularly with regard to profit return and return on capital, franchised dealers were generally satisfied with the ability to do business with their manufacturers on a day-to-day basis.
‘It is vital that manufacturers and dealers maintain an open channel of communication to discuss the main issues affecting businesses and continue to co-operate to allow the automotive sector to thrive through a period of changes and challenges.’
The NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey comes out twice a year, with the latest one conducted in January.