McLean, Va. - As the U.S. economy gains momentum and auto sales increase, employment at franchised new-car dealerships continued to rise, up 3.2% last year, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in its latest state-of-the-industry report.

In 2012, total employment at new-car dealerships increased to 963,400 employees, up from 933,500 the previous year, according to NADA Data 2013, a report on dealership sales and financial trends. The average number of employees per dealership rose from 53 to 55 last year.

There was also a net increase of 95 franchised dealerships, bringing the total to 17,635 at the end of 2012.

New-car dealerships had an annual average payroll of $2.9 million in 2012, up 12% from the previous year. The total payroll for all U.S. new-car dealerships was $51.6 billion, up 12.6%.

Average weekly earnings of employees at U.S. new-car dealerships last year was $1,030, up 9.1% from the previous year.

Sales, payroll and employment and at new-car dealerships as a percentage of total U.S. retail activity in 2012:

  • Sales accounted for 14.9% of total U.S. retail sales.
  • Payroll accounted for 12.3% of total U.S. retail payroll.
  • Employees accounted for 6.3% of total U.S. retail employment.

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