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U.S. Auto Dealers Heading for Record Year

Showroom count down, sales per outlet up.

by on Aug.15, 2012

After years of struggle, U.S. car dealers are reporting strong earnings and record sales.

After years of struggle that saw 3,000 U.S. retailers shutter their showrooms, this could be a record year for American auto dealers.

Profits are back and sales are likely to reach an all-time high, at least on a per-dealership basis, according to a new report by the Detroit-based consulting firm, Urban Science.  Meanwhile, industry officials note that dealers are investing billions of dollars in showroom updates and expansions designed to not only improve customer service but to also handle the anticipated growth as the U.S. market finally recovers from years of recession.

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“It looks like we’re going to hit a record this year,” said John Frith, who oversees retail network research for Urban Science. “Automakers,” he noted, “have kept their networks relatively flat, giving existing dealerships the opportunity to take advantage of increased sales volume. By doing this, and in turn achieving record throughput levels, dealers are making a profit for the first time in more than three years.”


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.