After 2 years of decline, US Franchise dealerships gained 18,230 new businesses, according to Urban's Science's Annual Franchise Activity Report.
The dealership count had dropped over 18,000 in 2019. That was first time since 2013. It dropped again by over 18,000 in 2020. Several states headed up the gain, according to Urban Science: CA with 28; TX with 12; NY added 10; FL added 7; and NC & VA both added 5. Although the number of businesses grew, the number of franchises operating in the United States fell by 1% in 2021, down to 31,646 businesses.
"As the chip shortage resolves and additional inventory levels the playing field for consumers in purchase negotiations, a right-sized dealership network -- not a reliance on short-term, pandemic-driven consumer willingness to pay more -- will continue to be the underpinning of sustainable success now and in the future," Mitch Phillips, Urban Science global data director, said in a statement Thursday.
Over the past several years, both the number of dealerships and franchises have been relatively stable, according to Urban Science’s data.
They also found that the number of vehicles sold at any given dealership rose from 807 in 2020 to 826 in 2021. It has been predicted, by Urban Science, that dealerships would average 868 vehicles sold this year – a 5% gain.
15.1 Million cars were sold in the US in 2021, according to the Automotive News Research & Data Center. This was a 3.3% increase from 2020, when 14.6 million vehicles were sold. In prior years (2015-2019) there were more than 17 million sold each year.
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