Despite a pandemic that shut down some stores' showrooms for most of last spring, U.S. dealerships on average posted their highest profits ever in 2020.
According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average U.S. dealership recorded net pretax profit of $2.1 million last year, a 48 percent leap from 2019. The 2020 figure also blew by the previous record of $1.5 million, recorded in 2015.
"There was just an improvement in the returns from your operations [in 2020] due to the unique market conditions that increased scarcity for both new and used vehicles," said NADA Chief Economist Patrick Manzi. Dealers "rose to the unique challenges that  presented and ended up having a pretty good year."