• Number of U.S. dealerships decreased by nearly 100 rooftops in 2019
  • Average dealership throughput fell to 940, a decrease of 8 units from 2018
  • California saw the biggest loss in total dealerships and decline in total sales volume


DETROIT, February 13, 2020—Urban Science released statistics and insights today from its 2019 Automotive Franchise Activity Report (FAR), indicating a decrease in dealership rooftops for the first time in six years.

As of January 1, 2020, there are 99 fewer dealerships (rooftops) in the United States, taking the January 1, 2019 count of 18,294 down to 18,195. This 0.5% 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 32,238 to 32,185 year-over-year.

“Sales throughput for dealers is defined as the number of sales divided by the dealer count,” said Mitchell Phillips, Urban Science’s Global Director of Data. “With a stable dealer count, the throughput statistic is controlled by the sales volume which declined slightly in 2019. Sales throughput fell eight units to 940. This year’s sales are forecasted to decline again which would result in the throughput continuing to fall to around 926 per store.”

“Since 2010, the dealership network has set a new normal pattern of stability,” said Phillips. “The data shows that 96 percent of local markets had virtually no net change (+/- 1 dealership). That said, the most significant (net) dealership decreases occurred in California, 28 dealerships; Illinois, nine dealerships; Ohio and Missouri, seven dealerships each. California also saw the largest decline in total sales volume, with a decrease of 6%. States that had most significant increases occurred in Texas, eleven dealerships; North Carolina, four dealerships; Pennsylvania and Tennessee three dealerships each.”

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.