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Morale among German dealers is low, says study

Bamberg, Germany. Automakers' aggressive price and discount policies are dampening morale in the German car trade.

The current Dealer Satisfaction Index by Forschungsstelle Automobilwirtschaft, an auto industry research center, shows that dealer satisfaction with the 26 brands included in the study remains low.

Dealers' satisfaction with Smart, Porsche and Seat is significantly lower than last year. Morale at Chrysler, Daihatsu and Audi, on the other hand, has improved.

Subaru is at the top of the ranking for the eighth time. It received good marks primarily for its margin system and its good payment track record.

Nissan was in last place. The Japanese importer got the lowest satisfaction marks in 35 of the 85 criteria polled.

The survey also shows problems within communication between automakers and dealers.

Dealers said they were not sufficiently informed about manufacturers' long-term plans and that in times of crisis, communication between the two sides leaves much to be desired.

This year's MarkenMonitor (Brand Monitor), a survey conducted by the Geislingen-based Institute for Automotive Research, also shows that morale is low. The survey will be presented at the Leipzig auto show on April 1.

Dealers are dissatisfied with margins, standards and most of all with return on sales.

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