A new survey by business publication, Motor Trade News, shows that the shape of the UK franchised dealer business is changing, but not as much as some pundits might have you believe.

The survey which was compiled with the help of data house, Automotive Data, compares October 2010 with October 2011 and is the result of over 25,000 one to one telephone conversations between the research team and the directors and staff at the UK’s dealer groups and individual dealerships.

As a headline figure, the total number of franchised outlets in the UK has reduced by 44 (0.7%) outlets from 6,322 in October 2010 to 6,278 in October 2011.

The UK franchised dealer market is composed of 5,198 franchised sales and service outlets, 983 franchised outlets which are Authorised Repair only and 97 franchised outlets which are new vehicle sales only.

Between October 2010 and October 2011, there were 413 entirely new franchised dealerships established. Of these new franchises, 293 are franchised sales and service outlets, 102 are franchised Authorised Repair only and just 9 are new vehicle sales only.

Over the past year, the brand which topped the list for opening the largest number of totally new franchised dealerships is Hyundai who saw 29 new franchisees open their doors. Equal second place goes to Nissan and Volkswagen with 21 new franchisees apiece, closely followed by Isuzu who opened 19 new franchises and Skoda who opened 17 between October 2010 and October 2011.

The mainstream brands which opened the fewest new franchise points are BMW, Bentley and Porsche who only opened one completely new franchise each.

The dealer groups which opened the largest number of new franchises in the UK between October 2010 and October 2011 are Bristol Street Motors and Arnold Clark, who each opened 13 totally new franchises. The next most prolific group was Marshall Motor Group who opened 6 new franchises.

Full details of the survey will be published in the franchising feature which will be in the Motor Trade News E-Zine bulletin on November 28th.