Lexus is Britain’s best brand to be selling, according to the latest poll for the National Franchised Dealers Association.
It is encouraging that despite the challenges affecting our industry, franchised dealers show high levels of satisfaction around a number of key business areas, particularly current profit, margins on used cars and manufacturers’ finance programmes, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has conducted an annual Dealer Attitude Survey twice a year since 1989.
For this edition of the survey, in January 2022 franchised dealers were asked a series of questions covering business issues affecting the relationship with their respective manufacturers. Responses were scored from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied).
With a total of 2,753 responses from 31 participating dealer networks, the survey received a record response rate of 67%.
With one of the highest average scores of the survey (7.1 out of 10), dealers showed high satisfaction levels with their current profit return. Generally, dealers seem slightly less optimistic with their ‘future profit return’ with an average of 6.4. As expected, however, the highest average in dealer satisfaction levels was around margin on used cars (7.7), as demand for second-hand vehicles continues to outstrip supply.
The all-important question ‘how would you rate your manufacturer overall on a scale of 1 to 10?’ returned an average of 6.6, 0.1 higher than six months ago. Lexus (9.8), Kia (9.2) and Toyota (8.9) were the top performers, whilst Renault (4.0), DS (4.1) and Alfa Romeo and Fiat received the lowest ratings (4.5).
Unsurprisingly as supply issues impact the market, dealers showed concerns with the availability of parts, returning one of the lowest average scores (5.7).
An analysis of the ‘overall average score’ across all questions of the survey (6.5) put Lexus at the top with 9.3 points out of 10, followed by Kia (8.9) and Toyota (8.5). The bottom of the table saw Fiat (4.6), Hyundai (4.7) and Alfa Romeo (4.8).
Sue Robinson added, “Every six months, the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey presents an insightful and comprehensive overview of the automotive sector and the health of franchised dealers’ business relationships with their respective manufacturers.
“Although automotive OEMs and retailers continue to operate in a demanding environment, primarily due to supply and other post-pandemic related issues, the latest findings of the Dealer Attitude Survey show a positive picture with marked improvements for most brands across several areas.
“This year’s record response rate demonstrates that the survey is increasingly seen as a crucial barometer in the UK automotive industry. It is vital that manufacturers and franchised dealers work closely together in a mutually beneficial way to ensure that we can continue to meet consumers’ needs”.