Dealer Franchises - Phil Oliver
I have always considered a good garage worth hanging on to. My local main agent has many cars in the locality due to the level of service offered, even though his new car prices are not competitive with other sources. I've stayed with them for over 20 years because I trust them: talk problems through with a technican who actually knows your car because he always works on it, be encouraged to engage in bangernomics, or helped to chose a new car.

All is not well however: The importers consider it a bad garage because it does not sell enough cars, the lifetime experience with the vehicle does not appear to count, so they are losing the franchise next month (along with lots of others, it's a national clearout)

Time and again on this site I have read of poor experiences with dealers. Moving metal is obviously more important than the whole package No wonder I was so unimpressed when I did look beyond my local when seeking a brand new vehicle. I am sure I could have bought cheaper, but the extra was worth every penny.

I suppose it's the modern way, service must come a poor second to hard cash. I shall stick with them, and will probably buy whatever marque they sell next. Who is being wise and who is stupid in this situation?
Re: Dealer Franchises - Marc
Is this a large national chain or a local independent?
Re: Dealer Franchises - Phil Oliver
Local independent
Re: Dealer Franchises - Marc
Happening everywhere isn't it. In my town, if you want a Peugeot, Rover, Nissan, Honda or Citroen you buy from the same firm. Probably with interchangeable staff who know next to nothing about the marque in question. It's all a question of economics I guess (and the merging of manufacturers no doubt)

The independents probably don't have the spare capital to keep their premises and showrooms up to manufacturer standards (as well as sales as you mention above)

With regard to used stock, I always used to think main dealers had the best selection. Not any more. The quality and prep of the vehicles they carry often leaves a lot to be desired
Re: Dealer Franchises - Alvin Booth
As Marc says it is happening everwhere. In my small market town there were two main dealers one Rover the other Vauxhall. Both having been there for probably 30 to 40 years.
Both have lost their dealership.
I was talking to the boss at the Rover one and he said its the best thing that happened to them.
They still have access to the Rover auctions where they can buy Rovers at large discounts.
However he said the biggest gain is the tools which Rover made them buy. In some cases several thousand pounds each. Now they don't buy them and instead take a customers car to the main Rovers agent if its something they haven't the equipment to test or repair.
The Vauxhall one is a sad case insomuch as the owner who was getting quite old retired and sold the entire site. It is now an housing developement.
There was a large article in the local rag about the startup of this business which was sometime in the 50s.
All the trained vauxhall mechanics lost their employment of course and moved on.
Re: Dealer Franchises - chris watson
near where i live used to be a austin dealer, in his used car showroom was the same cars every week, plus the prices were about £500 - £1000 more then other austin main dealers, but the service was excellent, plus he used to fix little bits and pieces for free, but he lost his dealership, which is a shame because as this is the north east people went instead to nissan, so austin/rover lost quite a few diehard enthusiasts.

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