DONNA HARRIS

Dealers are part of the hiring trend

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing Automotive News.
I just saw the news that the unemployment rate in the United States dipped to 9 percent in January, which is still high but at least headed in the right direction.

It also is in line with a recent Automotive News poll of dealers taken just before the NADA convention showing that nearly two-thirds of the nation’s franchised dealers expected to be hiring this year.

Many of the dealers I interviewed on the topic are hiring only a few more employees or just replacing people who leave. But that’s better than the hiring freezes or personnel cuts at dealerships that have been in effect over the last couple of years.

And the most often cited reason they’re hiring is a real indicator things are looking up. They say that they have to “staff up” to maintain customer satisfaction. So they’re seeing such an uptick in traffic and sales they simply can’t handle with a bare-bones staff.

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