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News & Updates

News Release: Compensation and Productivity Are Up at Area Dealerships, Economic Impact Is Profound
November 16, 2015

News Release: Compensation and Productivity Are Up at Area Dealerships, Economic Impact Is Profound



Sara Panza
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association


Compensation and Productivity Are Up at Area
Dealerships, Economic Impact Is Profound


Cleveland, OH (November 16, 2015) – If you’re looking for a position at a franchised new car dealer, there’s good news for both dealers and prospective employees. Both employee compensation and productivity are up, according to a new study conducted by the research firm ESI Trends for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

In addition to national and regional data on dealership compensation, the 2015 Dealership Workforce Study report, Automotive Retail: National & Regional Trends in Compensation, Benefits & Retention, includes data on retention and turnover for 60 dealership job positions, as well as information on employee benefits, hours of operation and work schedules. 

“This report confirms what franchised new car dealers across Northern Ohio have been saying all along,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association (GCADA). “Auto dealers offer great jobs with excellent compensation. They also offer an excellent career path for people seeking positions in sales as well as fixed operations.” 

In 2014, the median weekly income for all employees at new car dealerships increased 5.1 percent. On average, dealership employees earned nearly 29 percent more than employees in other private sector workforces, according to a comparison of dealership salaries and the 2014 fourth quarter median weekly earnings of all U.S. employees, as compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

On the downside, employee turnover across all positions at new dealerships increased slightly in 2014, from 36 to 39 percent. However, that was still five percentage points below the 44 percent turnover rate in the private sector. 

If your idea of dealership employment means working on the sales floor, you’re only partially right. While the greatest upward salary mobility can be found on the sales floor, many retail automotive fixed operations positions can command high-level five and even six-figure annual salaries at the top end of the career path. 

The annualized turnover rate in sales can be high, caused by entry-level employees who try sales for the first time and decide they don’t like it. In addition, the median growth income for key sales positions grew by just 1.8 percent in 2014, compared to 6.2 percent for other fixed operations positions, which include service managers, service advisors/writers and auto technicians.

More millennials and women found employment at new car dealers in 2014. Millennials made up 31 percent of the workforce at new car dealers in 2014, up from 27 percent the year before. Millennials also represented 48 percent of new hires in 2014. 

While still under-represented in the industry, women are finding new opportunities and achieving higher levels of success in management positions than ever before. Women made up 18.5 percent of the new car dealership workforce in 2014, up one percent from 2013. In terms of positions within a dealership, women saw the greatest increases in the positions of F&I managers and service advisors. 

Women are also being recognized for their contributions in upper level dealership and dealer group management. Indeed, Michelle Primm, managing partner of the Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls and a director of the NADA, was recently named as one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry by Automotive News. So was Alison Spitzer, president of Spitzer Automotive, who is leading the resurgence of her family’s dealership group. 

When you join a franchised new car dealer, you’re contributing to an industry that’s extremely important to our local and state economies. 

“There is no doubt that franchised new car dealers have a profound impact on our economy in Northern Ohio as well as across our entire state,” says Vitantonio. “When you add in all the automotive manufacturing jobs across Northern Ohio and the spin-off jobs created by dealerships, it’s clear that the automotive industry is the backbone of our state’s economy.” 

In 2014, there were 709 franchised new car dealerships in Ohio with an average of 58 employees at each dealership. The average employee took home earnings of $49,445 per year in 2014. That’s a payroll of 2.03 billion, with more than $687 million paid in income taxes. 

Sales at franchised new car dealers account for 16.8 percent of all retail sales in our state. And for every one of the more than 41,000 employees at an Ohio new car dealer, there are another 1.2 spin-off jobs created in the economy, according to a newly released study from the Center for Automotive Research, an Ann Arbor based research organization. 

That means more than 85,000 jobs are created by new car dealers in our state alone. If you’re looking for a good paying job that also offers a great career path, try a franchised new car dealer. 

About the GCADA

The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1915. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents over 250 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which include new-car, truck, motorcycle and RV dealers in a 21-county region of Northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore and beyond.  More information on the GCADA can be found at www.gcada.org. Contact us at 440-746-1500. 

About the Cleveland Auto Show 

The Cleveland Auto Show marks the start of the spring selling season in Northern Ohio. Featuring concept, pre-production and production vehicles from the world’s auto manufacturers, the show is held annually at the I-X Center with nearly 1.2 million square feet of exhibits. The Show also features an array of entertainment including sports celebrity appearances from the Browns, Cavs, and more. The Cleveland Auto Show is a consumer show and a favorite family tradition since 1903. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheClevelandAutoShow.

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If you no longer wish to receive email advertisements from GCADA, please call 440-746-1500, send a fax to 440-746-1504, or send an email to gcada@gcada.org and provide the following information so we can process your request: your name, the name of your company (if applicable), your email address(es), and that you do not wish to receive email advertisements from GCADA. We must process your request within 10 days.  GCADA is located at 10100 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, Ohio 44141.

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