The nation’s franchised dealership network continued what has been a “new normal pattern of stability” following the auto downturn at the end of the 2000s.
Urban Science released its 2015 year-end Automotive Franchise Activity Report on Monday, finding that the 18,087 franchised dealership rooftops at the end of the year beat prior-year figures by 0.7 percent.
There were 31,776 franchises at year’s end, up modestly from 31,609 franchises at the end of 2014.
Urban Science also anticipates that throughput (new-car sales per dealership) will have reached a fourth straight record year, with 966 sales per store in 2015.
“Over the last six years, the dealership network has set a new normal pattern of stability,” said Mitchell Phillips, Urban Science’s global data director.
Phillips also noted that the net change in dealership count was basically flat (one dealership or less) in 96 percent of local markets. But some states saw some decent change: Texas added 23 dealerships, California added 19, Florida added 13, New York added nine and Iowa added eight.
“Sales throughput for dealers has achieved another record level due to a record sales year and a stable dealer count. This is the fourth consecutive year that this record has been broken,” said Phillips. “However, reviewing data for January 2016, the current selling rate indicates that while we may get close, we may not break this record again in 2016.”