For its third DealerSTAT poll of Italian dealers, organizer Quintegia research company added an intriguing question: "If you were to start over as a dealer, which brand would you choose?"
The top choice among 10 brands: Toyota with 23 percent, followed by BMW with 13 percent and Audi, 9 percent. Italy's Fiat finished in a four-way tie at No. 6, with 4 percent.
When dealers were asked whether they would start over again with their current brands, 67 percent of Toyota dealers said, "Yes." But only 14 percent of Fiat's car sellers would stay loyal to the Italian carmaker if given a chance at a fresh beginning -- the worst in the poll.
"It is a worrying figure, but the poll was conducted early this year, when our dealers were just coming out of a really tough 2005," said Benito de Filippis, Fiat aftersales operations boss.