The average number of new-vehicle sales per dealership in the U.S. is trending toward another record in 2015 at a projected 945 units per store based on an annualized U.S. sales rate of 17.1 million vehicles, according to a study released today by Urban Science.
At the end of 2014, the average number of new-vehicle sales per dealership was 921 units, and that was a nearly 50-unit increase from 2013.
With the gap from year to year shrinking, “maybe we’ve hit the pinnacle,” said Mitch Phillips, Urban Science’s global director.
“The basic trend among dealerships is pretty much status quo, but if the forecast dips and the number of stores stays the same, we might see a plateau or downturn,” Phillips said in an interview.
At the end of June, there was a slight increase in the number of dealerships in the U.S. As of July 1, there were 18,011 stores in the U.S., up 0.3 percent from the total at the end of 2014, the retail consulting firm said in the report.
The number of franchises is also inched up as of July 1, with 31,714 franchises in the U.S., up from 31,609 at the end of 2014.
Phillips said these are relatively flat changes, noting that most local markets have not seen any net change in dealership counts so far this year.
The states driving the overall increase in dealership are Texas, with an increase of 10 dealerships, California with eight more dealerships and Florida with seven more stores. Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia have all gained five dealerships since the end of 2014.
In terms of franchises, California added 26, Texas 10, Florida 13, and Virginia 10. Maryland, Missouri, and Illinois all added five.
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