TYSONS, Va. — New-car dealerships directly employed a record 1,131,900 workers last year, a 2.4% increase from 2015, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s NADA Data 2016.

On average, a dealership employed 69 workers last year, up from 66 in 2015. Average annual payroll was $65 billion, up 4.9%, or $3.9 million per dealership. The average weekly earnings of dealership employees grew 2.6% from 2015. Total annual compensation averaged $69,000 per employee, giving dealership employees one of the highest average salaries of any industry.

“Total dealership employment has consistently risen every year since the Great Recession,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly. “In addition, hundreds of thousands of other local jobs are dependent on dealerships.”

Total dealership sales revenue, including new- and used-car sales (including F&I), parts, service and body shop, was $995.6 billion in 2016, up 6.1% from 2015. The average per dealership was $59.6 million.

The Top 10 states in dealership sales in 2016 were California, Texas, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey.

Despite rising auto sales and back-to-back record sales in 2015 and 2016, net pretax profit at new-car dealerships as a percent of total sales has remained flat, hovering at 2.5 percent for several years.

“The past seven years have been the longest period of new-vehicle sales growth since the 1920s,” Szakaly added. “For 2017, we expect new light-vehicle sales to continue on a strong trend, ending another year above 17 million.”

Looking at fixed-ops, new-car dealerships wrote 259 million customer repair orders in 2016, up 6.5% from the previous year. These orders included service, warranty and recalls.

“More and more consumers are choosing new-car dealerships for their service needs,” said Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist. “Express service such oil changes and non-warranty repair orders at dealerships, on average, increased by 10.9% and 4.2%, respectively, in 2016. This increase demonstrates that consumers value the expertise of the highly-trained and factory-certified technicians employed at new-vehicle dealerships.”

Other highlights from NADA Data 2016 include:

  • The total number of new-car dealerships was 16,708, up 163 from 2015.
  • A record 17,465,020 new cars and light trucks were purchased or leased in 2016.
  • The average selling price of a new vehicle was $34,449, up 3% from 2015.
  • The average selling price of a used vehicle was $19,866, up 2.5% from 2015.
  • New vehicles sold per dealership, on average, was 1,045.
  • Service contract penetration on new- or used-vehicle purchases was 43.7%, up 1% from 2015.
  • New-car dealerships sold 14,968,206 million used vehicles, accounting for 37% of all used vehicles retailed.

To access the report, click here.

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom