Urban Science released statistics and insights today from its 2021 Mid-Year Automotive Franchise Activity Report (FAR), indicating a small increase in dealership rooftops and an increase in sales throughout.
As of July 1, 2021, there are 46 more dealerships (rooftops) in the United States, taking the January 1, 2021, count of 18,157 up slightly to 18,203. This 0.3% increase is small and indicates continued stability overall. This is in contrast to the slight decline Urban Science saw for dealerships in 2020 and is back to the same level of 2019. The number of franchises, or brands a dealership sells, also experienced a period of stability, slightly decreasing from 31,959 to 31,932.
“Sales throughput for dealers is defined as the number of sales divided by the dealer count,” said Mitch Phillips, Urban Science’s Global Director of Data. “With the current range of 2021 sales forecasts being slightly more than 2020 and a stable dealer count, throughput is forecasted to increase around 103 units to 910 units. This is about the level we saw in 2013.”
A recent Urban Science online study supports this forecast, finding that, despite the rise in COVID-19 cases across the U.S., consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with visiting a dealership in-person, with 64 percent reporting they believe it is “completely safe to go to a dealership today” and 42% are “comfortable visiting a dealership within the next month or sooner.” When looking at the demographics, four in 10 adults living in urban areas report they’ll buy within the next year—twice as many as those in suburban and rural areas.
For more details on the study, visit urbanscience.com/insightlab