IF you hold an Audi franchise, you’re probably feeling very satisfied indeed right now.
Well, you’ve certainly rated the value of it as 8.5 out of 10, according to the first NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey.
With respondents from 32 networks, and responses from one in four dealers from each, the aim is for it to become a bi-annual survey, tracking changes as manufacturers respond to lowly positions.
Audi won’t be needing to do much work, though – particularly as its dealers are by far the happiest in the UK when it comes to profitability.
Jaguar dealers are also chuffed too, though. They rank the worth of the franchise as 8.2 out of 10 – way ahead of the average (maybe helped by them giving it 4 out of 5 for profitability). The UK’s dealers as a whole give their franchises 5.9 out of 10 for overall satisfaction, making Audi and Jaguar’s performances all the more impressive.
Suzuki did pretty well too, though, coming out with a 7.5 out of 10 score, and VW got 7.3.
But who are the laggards? Well, Peugeot got a kicking: dealers gave the franchise value just 3.6, way below average, and indeed the lowest score of all. Not that Subaru did much better, at 3.7, nor Saab at 3.8.
Those Peugeot dealers reckoned their partnership with the manufacturer was also pretty poor – in complete contrast to delighted Jaguar franchisees. Those holding a Lexus franchise were not far behind.
And as for satisfaction with the maker’s standards compared to dealer investment, Mercedes was the most unrealistic of all, just one of several bones of contention dealers have with the three pointed star. Compare this to Proton dealers: we mentioned last month how investment levels are low for the franchise. It seems dealers recognise that, rating Proton as the most realistic of all in this respect.
Overall housekeeping stats were interesting, too: 41 per cent of UK dealers are independents, for example, with 49 per cent privately owned, and 9 per cent PLCs. 34 per cent are multi-franchise, and a quarter sell between 200-299 new cars a year.
Just over a quarter also sell 200-299 used cars a month, too, showing how the new-to-used balance lies.
The second survey will be out early in 2009. Look forward to full analysis of results here in Car Dealer, to find out who’s responded – and who hasn’t!