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U.S. Auto Dealer Count on the Rise

New study says sales per dealership could reach all-time high.

by on Feb.15, 2012

For the first time in years the number of U.S. auto dealers increased in 2011.

It’s become a seeming fact of life that the number of U.S. auto dealers will steadily decline each year – with massive cuts during the industry’s recent downturn — but 2011 saw an unexpected turnaround with the dealer count actually rising for the first time in years.

New research also suggests that if the automotive recovery remains on track, 2012 could be the best year on record for American automotive retailers from a sales per showroom standpoint.

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Research firm Urban Science reports the number of dealerships actually increased last year after two years of significant attrition. As of Dec. 31, 2011, there were 17,767 dealerships in the U.S., a 0.6% increase from 17,659 in 2010.