Franchised dealers are selling, and selling fast, as they set an all-time record for new-car sales per store for the third straight year in 2014.
According to Urban Science’s Automotive Franchise Activity Report, franchised dealerships sold an average of 941 new units each last year, based on vehicle sales of 16.5 million.
"Sales throughput for dealers has achieved another record level due to a great sales year and a stable dealer count. This is the third year in a row that this record has been broken," said Mitch Phillips, global director at Urban Science. "2015 looks promising. With a stable dealer count, as we have seen over the past several years, and the strong sales forecast which the industry is now predicting, we could see this record broken again."
This record-setting year could have resulted in part from a slight increase in franchised dealerships in the U.S. since the end of 2013.
As of the end of 2014, there were 17,953 dealerships in the country, marking a 0.6-percent increase from December 2013’s total of 17,838.
The most significant spike in dealership numbers were seen in Texas, which added 18 dealerships, and California and Florida followed with an increase of 13 dealerships each.
Georgia was up next with an increase of 12 dealerships, and North Carolina added seven stores.
Franchised dealerships were also taking on additional nameplates in 2014. According to the report, the number of brands franchised dealers sell rose 0.5 percent last year, moving up to 31,609 as of the end of 2014.