LOS ANGELES -- Domestic-brand dealers are unhappy with the state of their franchises, according to the latest Dealer Attitude Survey conducted by the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The only domestic brands that finished above average in the survey were Hummer, Saturn and Cadillac.
The survey, taken last winter, measures franchised dealers' satisfaction with their manufacturer's policies, field and headquarters staff and franchise value.
Ford and most of its luxury brands took a pounding, with Ford, Lincoln-Mercury and Jaguar at the bottom of the franchise standings. By contrast, major Asian brands grabbed the top seven spots.
In a recent interview, Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president of North American marketing, sales and service, said improving dealer profitability is Ford's most pressing concern regarding its retailers. The average profit of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers fell nearly 10 percent during the first four months of 2006 compared with the same period of 2005.
While there is "no silver bullet here," Codina said, Ford is working on a number of ways to improve retail sales and overall results. He was not speaking specifically of the NADA survey results.
According to NADA's published report of the rankings in AutoExec magazine, GM's brands may have been the victim of bad timing. Dealers got the surveys during the sales backlash after the employee-pricing program ended.
Satisfaction scores of Chrysler group brands fell because the factory forced excess inventory onto dealer lots.