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.
“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.”