Urban Science: U.S. Auto Retail Network Stable While Average Sales Per Store Forecasted to Fall

Urban Science released statistics and insights from its 2017 mid-year Automotive Franchise Activity Report (FAR), indicating continued stability in the number of automotive dealerships in the U.S.

As of July 1, there were 18,199 dealerships (rooftops), a 0.2 percent increase from the Jan. 1 total of 18,170.

The number of franchises, or brands a dealership sells, also experienced a period of stability, slightly increasing from 32,012 on Jan. 1 to 32,046 as of July 1.

“Over the last several years, the dealership network has set a new normal pattern of stability,” said Mitch Phillips, global director of data for Urban Science. “The data shows that 98 percent of local markets had virtually no net change. That said, the most significant (net) dealership increases occurred in Texas, nine dealerships; Florida, seven dealerships; Pennsylvania, six dealerships; Missouri, five dealerships; and Ohio, four dealerships. 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.”

“Sales throughput for dealers is defined as the number of sales divided by the dealer count,” Phillips said. “With a stable dealer count, the throughput record is controlled by the sales volume. With the current range of 2017 sales forecasts being less than 2016, throughput is forecasted to fall around 25 units to 940 units.”

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