How is the Dealer Workforce Faring?

McLEAN, Va.  - 

If findings shared by NADA University on Monday are any indication, the outlook on workforce stability at the nation’s dealerships is a relatively solid one.

The education and training arm of the National Automobile Dealer Associated has released the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report, which was put together in partnership with Northwood University and examines employee compensation, benefits, retention/turnover and hours of operation/work schedules at car and truck dealerships.

The report offers an overall analysis of the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study results, including data for each region of the country.

Northwood is celebrating 50 years of partnership with NADA, and this project commemorated that anniversary.

Close to 2,500 dealerships combined to submit the grand total of 350,000 payroll records for the workforce study. The DeltaTrends firm designed the Dealership Workforce Study, conducted data collection and built the customized Basic and Enhanced Reports for participating dealers.

The statement from NADA University listed how this study augments the former NADA biennial Compensation Study. This new study:

•    Capturing enhanced and more timely data and trends on an annual basis
compiling data nationally, regionally and statewide
•    Simplifying participation through a web-based portal
•    Offering separate individualized reports to participating dealerships so they can compare their numbers against data aggregated on a regional and national basis, as well as by state/metro area and franchise.

So what did the results reveal?

Among other discoveries, the report, based on 2011 data, found that dealerships had “more favorable” conditions surrounding job retention, turnover and tenure when compared to national norms in the bulk of key job categories the study examined.

The report also found that the average individual salary for most dealership positions in the report were stronger than their respective region’s median household income. What’s more, the report found that all dealership positions were stronger than the national average individual wage index.

There were also nine regional breakouts. Each of these had a “happiness” index via Gallup that were determined from “well-being” factors.

NADA University shared a few sales-related observations, pointing out a “positive connection between years of tenure and increased new- and used-vehicle sales.”

Additionally, dealership sales hours seem to have a “strong correlation” with new-vehicle sales.  It also was found that increasing new-vehicle sales had more of an impact on compensation than increasing used-vehicle sales had.

“This is the most comprehensive dealership workforce report ever produced in our industry,” said NADA chairman Bill Underriner.  “We appreciate the dealerships that participated and the invaluable support we received from the state and metro ATAEs (Automotive Trade Association Executives).

“The level of detail and planned annual updates will prove to be an indispensable resource to help dealers manage their workforce more effectively in a competitive marketplace,” Underriner added.

DeltaTrends president and founder Ted Kraybill added: “This is a groundbreaking report packed with data and trends information that will give dealers a much clearer picture of how they stack up against their competition and the entire industry in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.”

Offering his input, Northwood president and chief executive officer Keith Pretty said: “We are proud to have partnered with NADA University on this vital project, which is so pivotal to the American economy and the thousands of entrepreneurs that lead the American retail automotive industry.”

The 2012 Dealersship Workforce Study Industry Report can be purchased by contacting NADA University Customer Service at (800) 557-6232. More information can be found by completing the form at

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