ANN ARBOR, Michigan — New data from the Center for Automotive Research highlights the contributions of auto dealerships to the U.S. economy, while noting "dealerships are a perfect reflection of the fabric of the U.S. — family-owned businesses operating in communities across the nation, for generation after generation."
New and used dealerships employ more than 1 million workers, with an average of nearly 60 workers per dealership, the report said.
"Beyond their heartfelt 'American Story' aspect, it is important to understand the contribution of dealerships to the regional economies and government revenues," it said.
Since January 2012, the number of dealerships has been expanding, albeit slowly. As of January 2014, there were 17,665 new-vehicle dealerships in operation.
In 2013, total dealership revenues in the U.S. were $730 billion, with 57.1 percent of those revenues associated with new vehicles, 31.3 percent with used vehicles and 11.6 percent with service and parts.
"Every state in the nation has new car and used car dealerships operating in its communities," the report said. "The dealerships support local communities through contributions to charities, paying property taxes and sponsoring local youth sports teams.
"These activities are critical to maintaining a high quality of life in towns and cities across the nation. These contributions should be considered when assessing the value of dealerships to regional economies and communities."
Besides the status report on dealerships, the report also noted that automakers spend an average of $1,200 per vehicle on research and development.
"Indeed, your smartest mobile device is your car or truck, with each vehicle equipped with dozens of microprocessors and millions of lines of computer code.
The report is sponsored by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group.
Edmunds says: Your local auto dealership is the most visible sign of the vast U.S. auto industry and a major contributor to the health and welfare of the community.