For the first time in about 10 years, New York state did not appear on Urban Science's most active list, or a ranking of states which have the most dealerships added each year.
California routinely ranks high on the most active list, but also did not land a top spot for the second straight year.
"An interesting observation is California and New York, both typically on the most active list, are no longer included on the most active list, demonstrating a period of stability," said Mitch Phillips, global director of data for Urban Science.
States that experienced the highest net decrease in dealerships were Illinois and Washington, with a loss of five dealerships each last year.
Texas added the most dealerships, gaining nine since 2016. Florida came in second with seven additional dealerships, followed by Pennsylvania at six and Missouri with five.
The retail consulting firm also measured 2016 U.S. new-vehicle throughput -- or the average number of new cars and light trucks sold per store. Average throughput for U.S. dealerships last year was 965, according to the data. Urban Science, based in Detroit, forecasts the closely watched metric will dip slightly to 950 by the end of 2017. That's lower than 2015's 960 metric, Phillips said. He emphasized, though, the lower outlook for throughput is not all "doom and gloom," and the numbers are still up from 2014's metric of 921.
"940 is still a very healthy number. The past couple years have been around 960, so 940 is still higher than we've seen in the past," Phillips said. "It's a cyclical business. So, even though we're in a down year, it appears to still be upwardly trending cyclical."
Throughput is measured by dividing the number of sales by the dealer count.
Forecasts for U.S. new light-vehicle sales in 2017 originally ranged between 17.3 million and 17.7 million, though some forecasts now see sales falling closer to 17 million. That's compared with last year's record 17.55 million. The number of average dealerships per state has remained largely flat since 2015, marking a period of stability, Phillips said.
As of July 1, there were 18,199 new-vehicle dealerships, just a 0.2 percent increase from Jan. 1's total of 18,170. The number of franchised stores also remained stable, increasing slightly to 32,046 as of July 1 from 32,012 on Jan. 1.
The dealership count should remain fairly stable this year, Phillips said, while vehicle sales are likely to decline this year as well as for the next several years.