By Charlie Gilchrist, 2019 NADA chairman

NADA projects that U.S. dealers will sell 16.8 million new vehicles in 2019. Along with that sales forecast is the major challenge of attracting and keeping talented employees in our dealerships. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our businesses is critical, so there is no reason why every NADA member shouldn’t participate in NADA’s 2019 Dealership Workforce Study (DWS).

The men and women working in our dealerships are the core of our business, and their passion and professionalism count more than ever in today’s retail market. NADA’s study continues to be the industry’s most comprehensive analysis of our workforce, and it’s open to all NADA and ATD members. As a business owner, I have utilized this great management tool for years. It has helped me make informed recruiting and hiring decisions, which is especially important considering the industry’s critical service technician shortage. It’s no longer enough to simply find and place people in open positions. We need to make a concerted effort to place the best people in our dealerships for the long term.

There is no cost to participate in the study. Dealerships that do receive a complimentary custom report comparing their individual store’s status to the aggregated data of other participating dealerships, regionally and nationally. Important measurements include compensation for 60 job positions, employee benefits programs, hours of operation and retention vs. turnover data. Dealers will also receive a complimentary Trends Report with analysis of workforce data across the nation and by region. This report reveals broad trends across our industry, including hiring and retention trends and the generational and demographic makeup of the dealership workforce. It also includes a forecast for the future and an economic overview. And every participating dealer will receive free access to the DWS database and search tools.

The outcome I hope for is that all dealers participate in this study … and work smarter, not harder. Working hard comes naturally to us, but we need a full 360-degree view of our businesses so we continue to capitalize on our strengths and address our weaknesses. This starts with making informed decisions about our employment pool, taking steps to reduce turnover and making strides to retain the best employees, from the front of the store to the back.

Individual dealerships or dealership groups can enroll at nadaworkforcestudy.com. Participation for the DWS closes on May 15, so make this a priority today.

For more information email WorkforceStudy@nada.org or call 800.557.6232.


Charlie Gilchrist, 2019 NADA chairman, is president of Gilchrist Automotive in greater Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Posted by NADA

National Automobile Dealers Association