The International Car Distribution Programme will measure how the current franchise dealer system meets customer expectations and investigate the tangible benefits received by the customer through their interaction with the car distribution system.
It will also analyse the types of relationships and structures between manufacturers and retailers in future, assess the role of new communication technologies, and explore which areas of the current distribution system can be removed to optimise efficiency.
The three-year programme, called ICDP4, starts this month and will highlight the barriers that still exist to the complete implementation of 'lean' distribution across Europe, as well as identifying the human and system resources required by dealers. Finally, ICDP4 will investigate alternative routes to market.
The ICDP first began its full European programme in 1994, and participation in it is open to parties involved in automotive retailing and distribution.