The results of the annual North American Equipment Dealers Assn. (NAEDA) Dealer-Manufacturer Relations survey showed OPE manufacturers receiving improved total average scores from their dealers, including improved product availability scores. Released in May, the survey results represent a snapshot of dealers’ thoughts in early 2023. Though product availability scores remain low among most manufacturers, dealers’ ratings in this category have improved since hitting record lows in last year’s report.
NAEDA’s survey allows North American dealers to rate up to 7 manufacturers they carry and collects data on their experience in 12 categories. Respondents rate manufacturers on a scale of 1-7, where 1 is “extremely dissatisfied” and 7 is “extremely satisfied.”
OPE Average Slips
With a maximum score of 7 in all categories, the average overall score for OPE manufacturers rose nominally to 5.25 in this year’s report from 5.24 in 2022. By category, OPE manufacturers saw increases in their average score in 3 categories: product availability (4.44), parts availability (5.37) and warranty procedures (5.44).
Average overall scores for manufacturers in all categories were up year-over-year in the 2023 survey. OPE and shortline manufacturers continue to receive the best scores among all types of equipment. Source: 2023 NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report
Until 2022 and 2023, OPE manufacturers had the highest average product availability scores among the 4 types of manufacturers. Note: For the 2014 report, mainline and tractor manufacturers were grouped under the “tractor manufacturers” label. Source: 2023 NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report
Nonetheless, when compared to the other manufacturer groups in the report — full-line manufacturers, tractor manufacturers and shortline manufacturers — this year’s results mark the first time in several years that OPE manufacturers did not have the highest average score. That went to shortline manufacturers at 5.27. Supply chain problems seem to have taken enough of a toll to knock OPE manufacturers out of the top spot.
Shortline manufacturers also outshined OPE manufacturers in two of the three categories that the latter saw increases this year. OPE companies had an average product availability score of 4.44 — up from 4.07 in 2022 — but still less than 4.49 for shortline manufacturers. They also scored 5.37 for parts availability — a jump from 5.28 last year — compared to 5.38 for shortline makers.
2023 marked the first year that OPE manufacturers did not have the highest average parts availability score, coming in behind shortline manufacturers at 5.38. Note: For the 2014 report, mainline and tractor manufacturers were grouped under the “tractor manufacturers” label. Source: 2023 NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report
Scag Re-Takes Top Spot
After having achieved the second-highest average score for the last 2 years among specific OPE brands, Scag was the highest rated OPE manufacturer in 2023 with an average score of 5.95. This represents an improvement from its average score of 5.78 in 2022 and exceeds both the average overall score for all OPE manufacturers (5.25) and the average overall score for all manufacturers (5.14). However, this was Scag’s second-lowest average score in the last 5 years, having peaked at 6.19 in 2020. By category, Scag’s highest score was a 6.35 in product quality, and its lowest was 5.25 in product availability. Scag took the highest category score among all OPE manufacturers in overall satisfaction (6.20), return privileges (5.78) and communications with management (5.97). Year-over-year, Scag saw improvements in all its category scores.
2023 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report
With 90 pages of data and charts, the 2023 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report is available to all NAEDA dealer members and to participating manufacturers. Manufacturers may also obtain data that includes company breakouts by region and their individual dealers’ comments. For more information, contact Joe Dykes at email@example.com
Wright Mfg. received the second-highest overall score among OPE manufacturers at 5.89, up from a 5.66 in 2022, when it achieved the fourth-highest score. Wright Mfg.’s highest category score was a 6.28 in parts quality and its lowest was a 5.43 in product availability. Wright Mfg. took the highest category score in manufacturer response to dealers needs/concerns at 6.00. Year-over-year, Wright Mfg. saw improvements in all but one category.
Grasshopper received the third-highest average score at 5.88, up from 5.79 in 2022 but still its fourth-lowest score in the last 5 years. Grasshopper had the highest category scores in product quality (6.39), product technical support (6.25), parts availability (6.29) and parts quality (6.40). Its parts quality score was the highest category score among all OPE manufacturers. Grasshopper’s lowest score was a 4.89 in product availability. Overall, Grasshopper saw improvements in 10 of the 12 categories.
Walker saw its third year in a row of average score declines in the 2023 report and received a record low score of 5.37. Big Dog also saw a record low of 4.77. Ferris received an average score of 4.81, its fifth year in a row of either unchanging or declining total average scores. Briggs & Stratton’s average score of 4.75 was both its lowest since first appearing in NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations reports in 2017 and its fifth consecutive year of declines. Source: 2023 NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Report
The lowest average score in the 2023 report went to Simplicity at 4.34, down from 4.69 in 2022 and its lowest score in the last 5 years. Simplicity received the lowest score among OPE manufacturers in overall satisfaction (3.94), return privileges (4.26), communications with management (3.83) and manufacturer response to dealer needs/concerns (3.55). Year-over-year, Simplicity saw declines in all but one category.