â€œThe overall relationship between franchised car dealers and manufacturers recorded an average score of 5.6* in the Summer 2017 Dealer Attitude Survey, which is -0.5 points down from the last survey and -0.6 lower than the same time last yearâ€, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the NFDA Summer 2017 Dealer Attitude Survey, published today (4 September 2017).
The Summer 2017 survey, had 1,754 respondents from a total of 29 participating franchised networks, which equates to a response rate of 42%. The crucial question asking dealers â€˜how would they rate their manufacturers overallâ€™, saw a decline compared with the previous surveys.
Kia became the highest scoring franchise with 9.2 points. Kia has surpassed Mercedes which now follows with 9.0 points. Lexus remained the third placed network with 8.4 points.
Kia had also the highest average score across all questions of the survey, 8.5.
Suzuki and Toyota closed out the top five with 8.0 and 7.8 points respectively. Toyota experienced a significant improvement of 1.1 points on last winterâ€™s score of 6.7.
The least valued networks were Jeep (2.9), Citroen (2.8), and Nissan (2.6).
Audi was the most improved dealer network with an increase of 1.5 points. Audi gained a total of 61.8 points across the whole survey, this is the highest overall improvement.
Robinson continued, â€œThe Summer 2017 survey had an encouraging response rate, with considerably increased response return from smaller dealerships, highlighting the importance of the survey for both dealers and manufacturers enabling them to monitor and evaluate the health of their relationship.
â€œThe results of the survey show that external factors might have put a strain on the dealer-manufacturer relationship. However, despite the substantial decline in the average score of the manufacturer rating question, more than 60 per cent of the dealer networks surveyed returned a score above the neutral point of 5.0.
â€œAlthough average scores across the majority of the questions have generally declined, some networks continued to perform well following recent success and others showed significant improvements. Notably, Kia reached the first place in the all-important question and Audi recorded the highest increase in score across all the questions of the survey.
â€œIn a period of uncertainty where a coordinated and combined approach is needed to deal with a number of important issues currently facing the industry, it is vital that manufacturers and dealers continue to work together to safeguard the interests of the automotive sector.â€