Number of U.S. Dealerships Grows, While Franchises Decline

Number of U.S. Dealerships Grows, While Franchises Decline

August 14, 2023 — The number of U.S. dealerships is up slightly during the first six months of the year according to Urban Science’s 2023 midyear Automotive Franchise Activity Report (FAR).

Since the forced elimination of thousands of General Motors and Chrysler stores in 2009 as part of the government’s automotive bailout plan, the franchised dealer market has been both resilient and stable the last several years.

That’s rooftops. The number of franchises sold by those dealerships declined by 710 this year (from 31,554 last year to 30,844), mainly due to GM’s buyout of Buick franchises.

As sales continue to increase, Urban Science projects dealership throughput – the number of vehicles a dealership sells – will rise to 842 in 2023 from 759 in 2022. This will be the highest throughput level the U.S. automotive retail network has  seen since 2019, prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

States that added the most dealerships this year are:

  • California — 13
  • Tennessee — 7
  • Texas — 5
  • Florida — 4
  • Maryland — 3.

New York led the country losing five dealerships, with Illinois a close second losing three.

Other interesting data from the Urban Science report shows the top five states by electric vehicle sales volume as of July 1, 2023 (Urban Science defines an EV as being plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles):

1. California  

2. New Jersey  

3. Florida  

4. Texas  

5. New York  

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