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goodbye to small dealers, here’s the upper hand of the big groups”

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goodbye to small dealers, here’s the upper hand of the big groups”

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Goodbye car dealerships. It will only be sold online. Car showrooms will disappear from Italy. Many times it has happened to hear phrases of this type, ready to recite the de profundis of traditional dealerships. In real life all this has naturally not happened, with people still wanting to touch and see their future car in person. What is happening instead is a change in business realities, with the maxi groups taking over. This is revealed by the results of the Dealer Network Study, the research carried out annually by Quintegia which examined 19 generalist brands (Fiat, Volkswagen, Toyota, Dacia, Ford, Renault, Peugeot, Citroën, Hyundai, Kia, Lancia, Opel, Nissan, Suzuki, Skoda, Mg, Dr, Seat, Honda) and 12 premium (Jeep, Audi, Bmw, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Mini, Cupra, Volvo, Mazda, Land Rover, Porsche, Ds). These are the leading brands by market share in 2023, with a market share of at least 0.40%.

Goodbye small car dealerships

This trend, which has been underway for several years now, has amplified – as shown by the data updated to January 2024 – as the number of entrepreneurs stands at 776, showing a drop of 14% compared to 2023. The situation is also similar for as regards the company names, they fell below 1,000 units with a decrease of 15%. This situation is due to the reorganization of the networks, which is leading to greater entrepreneurial concentration to the detriment of small businesses and those that are not multi-brand within the group. The data relating to mandates and franchise sales points also provide evidence: in this case a more limited decline is observed. This is the symptom of a tendency of car manufacturers to concentrate sales activity in the hands of fewer players in the sector, preserving coverage in the territory as much as possible. This scenario regarding sales activity is reflected, more or less equally, on the authorized assistance networks: the trend for the main data analyzed is similar, with manufacturers oriented towards increasingly concentrating their activities in the primary network.

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More dealerships in the north and multi-brand growth

In terms of the territorial distribution of sales points, different situations can be seen within national borders, with over half of the sales points located in the North and with Lombardy standing out compared to other regions. As regards the distribution of the portfolio of brands represented by the entrepreneurs, the results illustrate how at the beginning of this year approximately 4 entrepreneurs out of 10 represent exclusively one brand, compared to 5.4 in 2015. What has increased, on the other hand, is the number of multi-brand multi-manufacturer entrepreneurs, i.e. those entrepreneurs who represent brands of different manufacturers. Currently, the average number of brands represented per entrepreneur is 2.83 compared to 2.00 in 2015, showing constant growth over the years and also thanks to the arrival of new brands in recent years.

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