So what is the retail motor industry? Well it’s not Nissan, VW, Bentley, Scania, DAF, etc., these are Car, Van and truck manufacturers who design and build vehicles.
Companies who sell cars, vans, trucks and buses on behalf of a manufacturer, they most often repair these vehicles and sell parts or accessories. They are generally not owned by the franchise i.e. VW but they can be. These businesses are often owned by very large companies like Lookers or Chatfields, some are ran by smaller companies such as S.G. Petch or NETV whilst some are small, single site business like Silbury Skoda or MT vehicle sales.
What does a franchised dealer do?
Staff handle customer enquiries and from this sell a wide range of cars, vans and commercial vehicles. Internet sales now plays a massive part of many of these businesses.
Service Advisors handle customer enquiries, book their vehicles in for service and repair and hand vehicles over when completed.
Technicians/Mechanics - carry out routine servicing as well as diagnosing faults then carrying out repairs.
Body Fitters/MET’s will strip off damaged electrical and mechanical components so that a Panel Beater can repair the bodywork. They will repair and replace these components after the body repairs have been completed.
Panel Beaters will replace panels that have been damaged in a crash. They will also repair panels wherever they can, which is where the name Panel Beater comes from.
Painters are required to reapply paint to a vehicle after it has been damaged to match the original condition prior to an accident.
Any repairs being carried out in a service workshop or a bodyshop will require parts to be fitted. Staff in this department order and control the stock so that the parts are available to be fitted as quickly as possible when needed. Dealerships typically have tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of stock on their shelves however large parts wholesalers can have millions of pounds’ worth on their shelves at any given time.
Admin/AccountsAll businesses have to be controlled which means someone will have to handle paperwork, make sure that processes are followed and keep track of how profitable the business is. Depending on their size businesses will have anything from one person looking after everything to several staff working in Administration roles and accounts departments.
None Franchised Dealers
Companies who again sell cars, vans, trucks, etc but don’t represent a particular manufacturer like Nissan and are free to sell or repair whatever they want. Their premises tend not to be as large and professional as franchised dealers like a Mercedes Benz showroom but there are a few who are bigger than such dealers. These companies range from national names like Motorpoint to smaller local enterprises.
Often known as independents these can be small car sales operations but are mostly workshops and bodyshops that can be found in any city, town or village.
Fast Fits/Service Centres
Tend to specialise in quickly completed, less technical repairs such as servicing, wheel alignment, exhaust replacement and tyre fitting. The most commonly know is Kwik Fit but there are regional groups like Tyre Spot and many single site businesses.
Parts Wholesale and Distribution
Any company that carries out mechanical or body repairs needs to fit parts, franchised dealers tend to get them from their own parts department but most business will order their parts from a parts wholesaler. These may be huge national chains like Eurocar Parts right down to the motor discount centres that can be found locally.