It’s good to talk

  12 September 2016

Retailing is all about relationships. Whether it’s between you and a customer or you and a manufacturer, any disconnect between the two can cause problems. Two stories illustrate this well; Renault’s move up the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude rankings and Volvo’s plans to roll out an online sales channel for digital-savvy consumers.

With the former, Renault appears to have made some ground since the previous survey at the beginning of the year. Sure, it’s got some good products, but there’s also the possibility that a change at the top has had a positive influence on retailer relations. In contrast, Citroen has stumbled. It’s taken a while for the firm to separate its new DS brand from the core line-up, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn if retailer relations suffered as a result.

Being open and honest is often the key to resolving issues before they mushroom or become public, which is never good. Volvo’s digital sales plan sounds great, but if I were a dealer principle I’d want to know how such an initiative might impact my business. At least the new MD is talking and saying reassuring things. And that’s the point; auto retailing is a complex business involving many stakeholders often with their own conflicting objectives, making it essential that an open dialogue is encouraged at all levels. 

Iain Dooley

Editor, Agenda

Auto Retail Network

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