It”s official – new car buyers want to buy from franchised dealers

01 March 2002 #SMMT News

A brand new independent survey across Europe shows that consumers

want franchised dealers offering full after-sales care when buying a new car.

The findings from the report commissioned by the European Commission confirms

that car buyers recognise the benefits of the current distribution system and

support the view that block exemption should be renewed in October.

The poll was conducted in a range of countries and shows overwhelmingly

that car buyers trust dealers who are specialists in each brand and buy with

confidence where they see that brand displayed.

In surveys conducted in the five biggest car markets in Europe,

researchers found that buyers want to deal with experts who offer the full product

range, test drives and customer service, backed up by the promise of long-term

support after they leave the show room.

Consumer expectations of safety, reliability and durability

can be better met by franchised dealers specialising in one make of car, according

to the report’s authors. They also warn that new car retailers failing to provide

a fully integrated service would have a very limited success in the market.

Commenting on the findings Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief

executive said, ‘This report is important for two reasons. Firstly it is completely

independent. Secondly, it tells us what car buyers want. This does not come

from the industry, politicians, or organisations that claim to reflect the interests

of consumers. This tells us what the man in the street values when buying a

new car. And that is the confidence he gets when dealing with a local franchised

dealer that will be with him long after purchase.’

Note to editors:

Copies of customer preferences for existing and potential

sales and servicing alternatives in automotive distribution can be downloaded


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