AM Live provides franchised retailers with an ideal opportunity to meet with colleagues and industry stakeholders. Thanks to a number of informative best practice sessions, attendees will obtain key insights into the latest trends facing the automotive industry. We look forward to attending this year’s AM Live, which promises to be a well-attended, thought-provoking event.
- Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA)
Automotive Management Live 2019 is co-hosted by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK. NFDA’s main activities include lobbying government and manufacturers on behalf of its members and dealing with a number of issues that impact franchised dealers on day to day basis. AM Live 2019 will provide dealers with an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues, attend informative workshops and discuss key industry issues that are affecting our sector.
It has been a busy first half of the year for franchised retailers and NFDA. New car sales have been affected by the continued political uncertainty. The confusion surrounding emissions has also had a detrimental effect on the market. Aftersales and used cars continue to remain key areas of focus for franchised retailers. NFDA has been calling on the Government to secure a Brexit deal and provide clarity to businesses and consumers as soon as possible.
After the introduction of WLTP in September 2018, the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) regulation is due to be implemented on 1 September 2019. Positively, following our lobbying efforts, the Department for Transport (DfT) has granted a derogation for non-RDE compliant vehicles for the run-out of any end-of-series product line manufactured at least three months before the implementation deadline. This will be valid for 12 months past the new law’s implementation date. NFDA will keep liaising with the Government to ensure that the interests of the automotive industry are safeguarded during this phase of transition. Additionally, we have been working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and our franchised dealer members on the findings of the motor finance enquiry. We will keep our members updates on this.
In May, we officially launched our new Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) accreditation scheme for EV retailers. Following a successful pilot phase, the launch took place at the House of Commons before an audience of franchised retailers, MPs and industry stakeholders. The scheme is endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Retailers can now apply to become part of EVA.
Last year, we launched Drive My Career, the employment initiative aimed at promoting career opportunities in automotive retail to young people. Drive My Career continues to grow: there are now more than 1,100 dealerships displayed on the dealer-finder interactive map. Thousands of jobseekers are redirected to our members’ career pages every month and highly targeted campaigns are regularly run to improve the perception of our industry.
To continue to best represent the interests of our members not only in the UK but also at a European level, NFDA has joined forces with a number of European counterparts to form the Alliance of European Car Dealers and Repairers (AECDR). AECDR has already formulated a collective response to the consultation by the European Commission aimed at evaluating the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation. We will circulate further details soon.
We have recently published our NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey 2019. The survey revealed that franchised retailers continued to stand out for professionalism, safety and trust. Further findings showed that despite significant challenges, respondents are now four times more likely to purchase a plug-in or pure electric vehicle.
Monitoring the health of the relationships between dealers and manufacturers remains one of our priorities. In March, the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey saw Kia top the survey in terms of overall dealers’ satisfaction levels. The next issue of the survey will be published in the first week of September. May saw the publication of the second issue of our Electric Vehicle Dealer Attitude Survey. A total of twelve manufacturers featured in the survey and Toyota had the highest average score. The results of the next issue will be announced in November.
In September we will hold our next round of regional meetings. Dealer-manufacturer relationships, used and new car market, aftersales, F&I, consumer legislation as well as HR and employment will be the main areas of discussion. Our retailer members’ input is of vital importance.