The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has highlighted emerging ‘dealer bias’ by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and their subsidiary Motor Codes in recent months.
Motor Trader last week headlined ‘SMMT campaign for dealers on MoTs’, suggesting the industry is in danger of rapidly becoming more divided between manufacturers versus the independent sector in the battle for aftersales business.
News of a ‘partnership’ between Motor Codes and the website motoring.co.uk, which heavily favours franchised dealers, further suggests the SMMT is moving further away from it’s recent ‘balanced’ industry stance.
Just weeks ago the SMMT made joint statements with the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) regarding dealers’ MoT capabilities – implying a difference between a dealer MoT and one elsewhere. These claims were swiftly challenged by the Retail Motor Industry Federation’s Independent Garage Association (IGA). Now IAAF’s chief executive, Brian Spratt, is also reminding everyone that “VOSA regulate MoT testing, not the SMMT.”
The press statement on the tie up between Motor Codes and Motoring.co.uk saw the SMMT announce that it will provide a ‘main dealer search and review function for its aftersales information pages’ whilst Motoring.co.uk trumpeted that they were ‘delighted to be working with Motor Codes to further support our manufacturer and dealer partners’.
Interesting times ahead.