By Abram Olmstead, NADA, Digital Director
NADA’s 100th anniversary is a great opportunity to check the pulse of the industry, and then roll up our sleeves for the next 100 years.
Here are 7 key facts about automotive retail:
- There are 18,000 new-car dealerships in the United States
More than 8,000 independent dealership companies own and operate nearly 18,000 franchised new-car dealerships across the country. More than half of those 8,000 companies own only one dealership (or storefront). Another 2,000 own only two storefronts.
- New-car dealers support 2.3 million American jobs
Local franchised dealerships employ more than 1.1 million Americans. And, on average, dealership employees earn nearly 24 percent more than employees in the private-sector workforce. In addition, dealerships are also responsible for hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs (from companies that provide goods and services to dealerships), and nearly 1 million additional expenditure-induced jobs.
- An average of 47,000 new cars and trucks are sold every day
2015 was a record year for the U.S. auto industry, with more car and truck sales than any previous year—17.47 million vehicles.
- 85% of all new vehicles are financed; 70% of consumers finance through their dealership
Because dealerships can shop a customer’s credit application to dozens of lenders, dealerships are usually able to offer their customers better interest rates than consumers can find on their own. Local dealerships can also discount interest rates for their customers to meet or beat a competing offer from another lender, such as a bank or credit union.
- 15% of all state and local tax revenue comes from dealerships
Local dealerships are the economic cornerstone of their communities. When other large companies move in and out of communities, dealers remain. In 2015, new-car dealers contributed $20.3 billion in state and federal income taxes.
- 50 state legislatures have enacted franchise laws to protect consumers and dealers
With franchised dealerships, vehicle manufacturers gain a free distribution channel for their products. Local dealerships have invested more than $200 billion in land, buildings and infrastructure to sell and service vehicles.
- Electric and hybrid vehicles together made up about 2.7% of national auto sales this year
Along with gasoline-powered cars, dealerships now sell more than 75 different models of new-technology vehicles, including traditional hybrids (which use both batteries and gasoline engines), plug-in hybrids (which can be charged at home and driven extensively without gasoline), electric vehicles (which use only batteries) and hydrogen fuel-cell cars (which only emit water vapor).