Mercedes-Benz UK CEO Gary Savage has questioned the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey for its relevancy to the agency model.
Dealer attitude decline
As highlighted in the October issue of Auto Retail Bulletin, under true agency agreements, all stock is held by the national sales company, which means there is zero pre-registration by retailers. However, Mercedes retailers scored the brand down for pressure to pre-register.
The introduction of agency agreements has significantly impacted retailers’ profitability and relationship with the brand. Under the question covering current profitability, Mercedes dropped 2.2 points. A year ago, Mercedes was the second highest scoring brand in the NFDA survey, in the current Dealer Attitude Survey it is thirteenth.
No longer relevant
In a letter to Auto Retail Bulletin, Savage said: “I have in the past valued this survey as a barometer of the health of our relationship with our retail network. However, this year it became clear that many of the new car sales related questions are no longer relevant to an agent network.
“Bearing the above in mind we now consider the NFDA survey to be less valuable as a compass in terms of the attitudes of our agents. However, as always, we will continue to collaborate with our network to innovate, as we have done with the launch of agency, to drive forward our mutual success.”
A spokesman for the NFDA responded saying it was planning to work on this area for the next survey.
* Read the full article in the November issue of Auto Retail Bulletin out this week.