UNCERTAINTIES over the future of the Block Exemption Regulation and the economic climate are having a negative impact on the car dealer-manufacturer relationships, says Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).
She was commenting on the findings of the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey, published this month, that shows dealers are experiencing a great deal of apprehension over manufacturer control and their economic prospects.
The survey shows 94 per cent of networks surveyed feel that the level of control exerted by their manufacturer will increase over the next 12 months. And 84 per cent of dealers surveyed feel that their average retained margin on new car sales has fallen compared to a year ago.
On a day-to-day basis dealers are very happy in their relationship with their manufacturer. 72 per cent of networks are satisfied with the business relationship they have with their manufacturer and 59 per cent said that manufacturer requirements are fair to their dealerships.
Sue Robinson added: ‘With the economy weakening, and discussions in relation to the Block Exemption Regulation still underway, it is natural for dealers to feel a certain amount of trepidation, and this is reflected in the lower overall score recorded by the survey compared to last year.
‘The survey shows that despite dealer awareness of growing manufacturer demands, the relationship is actually very good. In the end good relations solve many problems, so this should bode well for the future.’