• Number of U.S. dealerships decreased by 34 rooftops in the first six months of 2020
  • Average dealership throughput is forecasted to fall to 734, a decrease of 206 units from 2019
  • California and New York saw the biggest decline in total dealerships and total sales volume


DETROIT, August 13, 2020—Urban Science released statistics and insights today from its Mid-Year 2020 Automotive Franchise Activity Report (FAR).

As of July 1, 2020, there are 34 fewer dealerships (rooftops) in the United States, taking the July 1, 2020 count of 18,195 down to 18,161. This 0.2% decrease is small and still indicates continued stability overall. The number of franchises, or brands a dealership sells, also experienced a period of stability, slightly decreasing from to 32,185 to 32,031 since the beginning of the year.

“Since 2010, the dealership network has set a new normal pattern of stability,” said Mitch Phillips, Urban Science’s Global Director of Data. “The data shows that 98 percent of local markets had virtually no net change (+/- 1 dealership). That said, the most significant (net) dealership decreases occurred in California and New York at seven dealerships each, and Iowa at five dealerships. Increase in net dealership count was low, but the most significant increases occurred in occurred in Florida with seven dealerships, and Illinois and Washington with three dealerships each. An interesting observation is that Texas is now missing from the most active states because, typically, they are on that list for adding the most dealerships.”

“Sales throughput for dealers is defined as the number of sales divided by the dealer count,” said Phillips. “With this current stable dealer count, the throughput statistic is controlled by the sales volume which is currently forecasted to decline in 2020 by around 20%. Sales throughput should fall 206 units to 734 per store based on 2020 sales forecasts.” A recent Harris Poll COVID-19 tracker, however, shows that pent up demand for buying a car once things return to normal and businesses reopen has increased since the end of March (11%) compared to the end of May (19%).

About the Automotive Franchise Activity Report
Urban Science maintains a list of current new vehicle dealership and franchise information for all car and light truck brands in the United States. Compiled on a monthly basis, the census is the most reliable source of dealership statistics. The data comes from a variety of sources, including feeds from automotive manufacturers as well as phone and field verification. Urban Science has been collecting this information since 1990 and compiles an annual analysis for the previous year in its Automotive Franchise Activity Report.

About Urban Science
Founded in 1977, Urban Science is a global retail consulting firm that takes a scientific approach to help companies identify where they should allocate resources in order to increase their market share and profitability in the most effective and efficient manner. With headquarters in Detroit, Urban Science serves its global clientele from offices in the United States, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, China, Mexico, Japan, India and Brazil. For more information on Urban Science, visit www.urbanscience.com.