28 August 2013

Dealers: -40% company names in 10 years

During the last 10 years the authorized cars selling
networks have profoundly changed, considering
that the company names number has decreased from almost 3,500 in 2002 to about
2,000 this year.

Those data are a result of a constant
monitoring made by Centro Ricerche Quintegia on the distributive networks configuration
of 34 main brands in the Italian market. The Dealer Network Benchmarking study
collects and deepens this information regarding both sales and service, in
addition to foresee a wide analysis of Manufacturers’ performances and
remuneration policies.

As you can see in the graph, in 2002 the franchises number was a little more
than 4,300 and over the 10 years has decreased of about a thousand of units: this means a
contraction of about one franchise out of four to answer to a market logic of reorganization
that involved some brands in particular. Instead, considering sales outlets
(counted as the sum of brands represented inside the single structures, as in
the same outlet more brands could coexist),
the percentage reduction has been less significant, of about -18%. This shows
the need to guarantee a territory coverage
with specific sales levels, from which the market is more and more distant.

The datum probably more significant
regards the trend of the number of company names, which have decreased of more
than 40%, from about 3,500 in 2002 to about 2,000 in 2013. This does not means
that all the entrepreneurs completely left the sector due to evident
difficulties, but sometimes they have had the opportunity to requalify
themselves as Authorized repairers or Organized Resellers of some brands, while
others have chosen to work in an independent way. We have to highlight that the
reduction has been much more important between 2007 and 2013, because of the
recession period that has involved the Italian automotive sector.

Considering the current context, it is simple
to foresee in the short term the natural wayout of other operators and a networks
re-configuration with an important
reduction above all of entrepreneurs and company names. It is exactly
what emerges from the valuation of Centro Ricerche Quintegia about the sales networks
evolution until 2017, supposing a market with about 1,850,000-1,900,000
cars; these overall volumes could be even too much positive. As a matter of fact,
during the roundtable at the Forum of Automotive Dealer Day 2013, some Top
Manager made a market forecast for
the medium-long term: more than someone supposes a market of 1.7 million units in 2017, while others are more optimistic and hope for a return to a sale level of about 2 million cars. Looking at the scenarios described by some specialized
companies, in four-year time they foresee a gradual recovery to a
maximum of 1.850.000 units, a coherent level with the parameters of the

The decrease of the number of company names for the sales activity could be
substantial; this would see a contraction to about 1,500 companies from
about the 2,000 ones of 2013. Considering the entire period 2002-2017 it is possible to
foresee that the number of companies in the automotive distribution sector will
be more than halved. The overall number of franchises should decrease of
about 15% (to 2,800 units), as well asthe franchise points number (to 4,300 units) instead.

For infos about the Dealer Network Benchmarking study please contact Alberto
Bet at the following address alberto.bet(at)quintegia.it