Fleet News

Survey highlights dealers' concerns

PROFITABILITY concerns are plaguing dealerships, with the majority of franchises indicating falling profit potential over the past 12 months. The latest Dealer Attitude Survey by the Retail Motor Industry Federation found only Saab and Land Rover franchises had increased their profits over the past 12 months - clear evidence that throughout the new car market margins, bonuses and rebates have fallen.

The franchise networks of Jaguar, Skoda, Suzuki, Toyota and Volkswagen continued to register above average scores, while Chrysler, Citroen, Kia, Mazda, Rover, Seat, Vauxhall and Volvo franchises expressed the greatest decline in confidence in their profit potential. Looking forward, few dealers except Saab franchises registered any confidence in increasing their profitability over the next 12 months, and Audi, Chrysler, Citroen, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Rover and Vauxhall networks all recorded sharp falls in confidence in their future profitability.

Overall, Saab registered the greatest improvement of any manufacturer in the eyes of its dealers who believe their business relationship will improve over the next 12 months, that the importer's senior management take dealer views and opinions into account, and that margins on new car sales have improved over the past year.

BMW and Jaguar continue to hold first and second place respectively in the top 10 table of franchise networks expressing the most confidence in the perceived value of their franchise, followed by Mercedes, Chrysler Jeep, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Skoda, Land Rover and Toyota.

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